While religion often comes under criticism in this novel, the most sustained criticism on religion occurs in these chapters, during The Boss's visit to the Valley of Holiness. In other parts of the novel, Twain constantly attacks the authoritarianism of the Roman Catholic Church, but here, his views are more concentrated; he sees the Church as being undemocratic, despotic, and absolutist. He also sees it as being hypocritical in its complete support of the aristocracy. Furthermore, the Church even aids the nobility in pillaging from the peasants and other commoners, but mainly, it fosters ignorance and superstitions. At the end of the novel, the Church is able to play upon the superstitions of the people in Chapter 41 ("Interdict") in order to regain control of the country and to eject The Boss from his position of authority.
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Hermit, Yankee common sense., equally useless things, genuine St. Stylite