Analysis Of Mark Twain 's ' The Head Wilson ' Essay examples

1157 Words Mar 18th, 2016 5 Pages
In the classic novel Puddn 'head Wilson, Mark Twain balances humor with some serious subject matter while weaving an involved tale concerning a slave who replaces her master 's child with her own son. Roxana, a slave belonging to the brother of the eminent Judge Driscoll, replaces his son Tom with her nearly identical son, Chambers. Although no one notices for many years, the truth is discovered by “Puddn 'head” Wilson, an underestimated scholar, and is eventually revealed when Roxana 's “Tom” commits a crime. In this novel, Mark Twain criticizes the shallowness of racism and addresses deception and its consequences while utilizing humor to lighten the story. In the beginning of the book, it is explained that Roxana, although only one-sixteenth black, is still considered a slave. This fraction trumps any other part of her identity and she is born a slave even if she could be mistaken for a white woman in looks. Consequently, her child, who is “thirty-one parts white” and almost indistinguishable from her master 's son, is also born a slave. The fact that Percy Driscoll has to ask Roxana which child is his shows the pettiness and ridiculousness of slavery—a time when one 's skin color or the skin color of one 's parents would decide whether he would become an oppressed, abused slave or a privileged, wealthy person. Roxana fears that her son could one day be “sold down the river,” the greatest fear of the slaves in those parts, as further down the Mississippi were plantations…

Related Documents