Pudd'Nhead Wilson

Topics: Forensic science, Fingerprint, Palmistry Pages: 2 (599 words) Published: January 17, 2011
“The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson” was written by Mark Twain. The plot takes place around 1830 in a small town called Dawson’s Landing in Missouri. This book emphasizes the hard times of reconstruction in the confederate states. The economy was crashing. Slavery was a huge issue because it was banned in parts of the United States. One of the main characters, David Pudd’nhead Wilson, used his ‘expertise’ to embody reconstruction ideas and especially the ‘Reconstruction Dilemma.’

David Pudd’nhead Wilson got his name from a crazy conversation he had about owning half of a dog. The people at Dawson’s Landing thought he was a nutcase and the nickname Pudd’nhead stuck with him. He claimed to be a lawyer, a palm reader, a surveyor, an accountant, a bookkeeper, and somewhat of a forensic scientist. Wilson moved to Dawson’s Landing to practice law, but he failed to do so because the townspeople doubted his intelligence and common sense. He did use his lawyer skills twice throughout the book. Once was when he defended Luigi after Luigi beat up ‘Tom.’ He used his skills a second time when he uncovered evidence that proved ‘Tom’ killed Judge Driscoll. Pudd’nhead Wilson enjoyed collecting fingerprints from everybody in the town. He would ask them to run their fingers through their hair and then mark a strip of glass with the natural oils that would be on their fingers. He collected the same prints over the years to study them and look for changes. Pudd’nhead’s use of forensic science led him to the discovery that twins don’t have the same fingerprints but they are similar. His knowledge of law and his passion for fingerprints also helped Pudd’nhead discovered Roxy’s, the previous slave of Percy Driscoll, secret swap of Tom Driscoll (Percy’s Son) and Chambers (Roxy’s Son). Roxy switched the boys because she didn’t want Chambers to be sold “down de river. “ She was able to switch the boys because the children were very close in age and their skin color was the same. Roxy...
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