Pudd'Nhead Wilson

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Pudd’nhead Wilson

The novel Pudd’nhead Wilson takes place on the banks of the Mississippi River and in the first half of the 19th century. David Wilson has moved into town and a misunderstood comment gives him the nickname “pudd’nhead”. Pudd’nhead Wilson doesn’t become a significant figure until the end of the story while the focus switches to the slave Roxy, her son, and Percy Driscoll. Roxy is only 1/16 black and her son Valet de Chamber is only 1/32 black. Slaves had got caught stealing and are almost sold “down the river” to another master, and Roxy is scared for her and her sons life. She almost decides to kill herself and her son Chambers but then decides to switch her son Chambers and her masters 2nd child Tom, in their cribs so her son can live the life of a white person. Chamber then believes he is white and is raised as a spoiled child, who has grown up to be a selfish person. Throughout the novel Twains tone is racist which is evident in Roxy’s treatments, Percy’s harsh discipline towards the slaves and Tom being black and the antagonist of the novel.

Twains tone in the novel seems racist because of Roxy’s treatment towards and from others. Twain makes Roxy’s speech sound very unintelligent by having her words spelt in a different way “Dey’ll sell dese niggers to-day fo’stealin’ de money, den dey’ll but some mo’ dat don’t know de chillen- so dats all right” (16) and by having her sound like she’s speaking for the first time in about 10 years “Fust-rate; how does you come on, Jasper?” (7) Roxy was as white as anyone “… but the one-sixteenth of her which was black out-voted the other fifteen parts and made her a negro.” (8) but that didn’t matter. Roxy and Percy Driscoll’s had a child together but their relationship to each other was more as a slave and master type rather than a mom and dad type. Roxy was not treated with respect only because of the 1/16th black in her and her speech. I feel as if Twain’s making fun of blacks speech and...
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