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The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson by Samuel Wolfe
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samuel wolfe

on 6 May 2010

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Transcript of The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

Dawson’s Landing, Missouri
near the Missouri state line
by the Mississippi River
South of St. Louis
North of New Orleans Nature---Nurture Honor
PUDD'NHEAD WILSON'S CALENDAR By Mark Twain Discovers the SECRET
Lawyer (without clients!)
New York born, “college-bred”
Holds to his Integrity
Becomes Mayor
Hobbies: Palmistry Fingerprinting
His sense of humor not understood
Slave, Freed, Slave, Freed
Caregiver
Mother of Chambers
15/16th White
01/16th Black
Attempts to save son from slavery
Smarter than most
Complex character

Tom and Chambers: Who is Who?
Determined by the Clothing & Jewelry
Fingerprinting: Fact / Fiction / PROOF
Luigi & Angelo: Twins - Uniqueness
Disguises: Young / Old Woman Condemned to Slavery
Living the Life of the Master
“I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.
It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet.
The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

Twain died of a heart attack on April 21, 1910 one day after the comet's closest approach to Earth.
Thomas A. Beckett Driscoll
born a master, raised a slave
“Chambers” - strong, unspoiled, conditioned to regard himself
as an inferior being

Valet de Chambre
born a slave, raised a master
“Tom”- irresponsible, cruel, criminal A Matter of Law

“To all intents and purposes Roxy was as white as anybody, but the one sixteenth of her which was black outvoted the other fifteen parts and made her a negro. She was a slave, and salable as such. Her child was thirty-one parts white, and he, too, was a slave, and by a fiction of law and custom a negro.”
ROXANA (roxy) law CODE OF HONOR
Aristocratic/Gentleman's
First Families of Virginia
Pride and reputation
Mistaken for courage conflict Resolution
The DUEL Identity BOTH ARE POSSIBLE! slavery/racism Justice is served
MAYBE NOT!
consequences/injustice
Pre-
civil war Pen-name for
Samuel Langhorne Clemens "DOWN THE RIVER"
worse than HELL! ... a dog's bark ... a man's own hand is his deadliest enemy." ("Tom")
David Wilson Betrayal---Sacrifice Racial Distinction
Foundation for novel
Wilson - Judge Driscoll
Justice vs Honor
A Slave's Greatest Fear For Family---Against Family
Servitude----Freedom
Loyalty----Treachery
--MURDER--
"Tom" and "Chambers"
Products of inherited traits?
Products of their environment?

Twain does NOT answer BABY SWITCH! IDENTITY THEFT works intertwine plots to
Reveal important messages Literary and Cultural Critic

Humorist

Journalist

Social Observer

Narrator/Lecturer

Author The MAIN IDEAS are satirized in the novel.
Twain explores HUMAN NATURE and the
pre-Civil War SOUTHERN ARISTOCRACY's
CODE OF HONOR as each intertwines with SLAVERY in a culture that is filled with RACISM. Servitude Oppression Bondage Unjust Hopeless The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

“To be a gentleman—a gentleman without stain or blemish—was his only religion, and to it he was always faithful,” 1894 OPPORTUNITY struck!
Infant Clothes Switched
Tom:
ruffled soft muslin
Chambers:
coarse tow—linen shirt David Wilson (Pudd'nhead)
Roxana (Roxy)
Luigi and Angelo Capello
Judge Driscoll (York Leicester Driscoll)
Thomas a Becket Driscoll (Tom, "Chambers")
Valet de Chambre (Chambers, "Tom")
Percy Northumberland Driscoll
Pembrooke Howard
(other minor characters)
Twins
Italian noblemen
Admired/awed (at first)
Owned the dagger
Accused and tried
for murder
Return to Europe racial superiority doctrine of heritage
“blood will tell” works Reflect Contempt for the Institution of Slavery The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

The blunting effects of slavery upon the slaveholder's moral perceptions are known and conceded the world over; and a priveleged class, an aristocracy, is but a band of slaveholders under another name.
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Characters Proves ---
in a slave society nobody wins! Encourages you to think about the effects that heritage, environment, sacrifice, money (greed) and culture have on people.
Challenges you to think
about difficult racial issues
in a very different way. created art from the American language humor found in the ordinary
- used the local dialect Wrote about controversial issues
that others were afraid to confront RESOURCES
“Whatever you have lived, you can write – & by hard work & a genuine apprenticeship, you can learn to write well; but what you have not lived you cannot write, you can only pretend to write it...”
– Mark Twain
Drawn from his boyhood memories in Hannibal In those old slave-holding days the whole community agreed on one thing
--the awful sacredness of slave property. TWAIN'S THE TRAGEDY OF PUDD'NHEAD WILSON... Twain shows
the strengths and weaknesses of his characters "Classic." A book which people praise and don’t read.
- Mark Twain Luigi and Angelo Capello white-supremacy is a Fraud.
Twain's point:
one's superiority over another has nothing to do with the blood that runs through one's veins Not to be settled in the courtroom earns him the nickname "pudd'nhead" Major theme
slavery as profit CLIMAX
Awesome/Impressive
Courtroom performance SPEECH! SPEECH! Friend to the judge The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
by Mark Twain

HUMOR IN WORKS
SATIRE – Sarcasm
FARCE – Exaggeration
PARODY – Imitation
IRONY– Opposite in Meaning
FORESHADOWING - What is to come The courtroom audience to Wilson: END
Prezi constructed by
Samuel Wolfe English Novel Project Prezi Presentation
Pudd'Nhead wilson SETTING THEME THEME FINGERPRINT SLIDES THEME THEME THEME BEING SOLD THEME
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