Pudd'nhead Wilson is another of Twain's Mississipi river town stories; though, there is nothing ordinary about this Masterpiece. In the middle of the Nineteenth century, racial tension and dogmatic thinking permeate much throughout the South; setting the tone for this sardonic piece. ... read more
At the beginning of Pudd'nhead Wilson a young slave woman, fearing for her infant's son's life, exchanges her light-skinned child with her master's. From this rather simple premise Mark Twain fashioned one of his most entertaining, funny, yet biting novels. On its surface, Pudd'nhead Wilson... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
At the beginning of Pudd'nhead Wilson a young slave woman, fearing for her infant's son's life, exchanges her light-skinned child with her master's. From this rather simple premise Mark Twain fashioned one of his most entertaining, funny, yet biting novels. On its surface, Pudd'nhead Wilson possesses all the elements of an engrossing nineteenth-century mystery: reversed identities, a horrible crime, an eccentric detective, a suspenseful courtroom drama, and a surprising, unusual solution. Yet it is not a mystery novel. Seething with the undercurrents of antebellum southern culture, the book is a savage indictment in which the real criminal is society, and racial prejudice and slavery are the crimes. Written in 1894, Pudd'nhead Wilson glistens with characteristic Twain humor, with suspense, and with pointed irony: a gem among the author's later works.
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear ...”
“Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved.”
“All say, 'How hard it is that we have to die'--a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.”
“A Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a College Education.”
“Behold, the fool saith, "Put not all thine eggs in the one basket"--which is but a manner of saying, "Scatter your money and your attention"; but the wise man saith, "Put all your eggs in the one basket and--WATCH THAT BASKET!"”
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