Pudd"nhead Wilson


Published by Pocket Books in New York .
Written in

  • Missouri
    • Subjects:
    • Infants switched at birth -- Fiction,
    • Passing (Identity) -- Fiction,
    • Trials (Murder) -- Fiction,
    • Race relations -- Fiction,
    • Missouri -- Fiction

    • Edition Notes

      Includes bibliographical references (p. 226-228).

      StatementMark Twain ; supplementary material written by Alyssa Harad.
      SeriesEnriched classic, Enriched classics series.
      ContributionsHarad, Alyssa.
      LC ClassificationsPS1317 .A1 2004
      The Physical Object
      Paginationxxi, 228 p. ;
      Number of Pages228
      ID Numbers
      Open LibraryOL3322216M
      ISBN 100743487788
      LC Control Number2004276032

      Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain - A Captivating Classic

      Published in 1884, "Pudd'nhead Wilson" is a thought-provoking and captivating novel by the renowned American author, Mark Twain. Set in the fictional town of Dawson's Landing, Missouri, this literary masterpiece explores various themes such as racial identity, passing, and the American legal system, making it a must-read for book enthusiasts and scholars alike.


      The story revolves around two infants, Roxy and Chambers. Roxy, a slave, switches her light-skinned son, Chambers, with her master's son, Tom, effectively complicating their identities. As the plot unravels, we witness the consequences of this decision as the boys grow up with vastly different experiences.

      Tom, who grows up as a white young man, enjoys privilege and freedom, while Chambers, under the name "Valet de Chambre," lives as a slave. The town's title character, Pudd'nhead Wilson, plays a significant role in unraveling the switched identities. His hobby of collecting fingerprints, which fascinated readers back when the book was published, becomes a crucial element in solving the mystery of a murder trial that arises later in the story.

      Themes Explored

      Infants Switched at Birth - Fiction

      The theme of infants being switched at birth sets the foundation for the entire book. Twain masterfully uses this element to explore the impact of nurture versus nature, as well as the consequences of societal prejudices based on race and social standing.

      Passing (Identity) - Fiction

      Another prominent theme in "Pudd'nhead Wilson" is passing, primarily focusing on the character of Tom. Twain delves deep into the psychological complexities of assuming a different racial identity and the moral implications associated with it.

      Trials (Murder) - Fiction

      A murder trial takes center stage in the latter part of the book. Twain expertly weaves the courtroom drama and legal intricacies, providing a captivating narrative that explores the flaws and biases within the American legal system of that era.

      Race Relations - Fiction

      Racial tensions and the impact of race relations in post-Civil War America are central themes in "Pudd'nhead Wilson." Twain delves into the complexities of racial identity, prejudice, and the systemic racism ingrained in society during that time.

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      Immerse yourself in Twain's vivid descriptions, intricate plotline, and compelling characters as you explore the profound themes addressed in this literary gem.


      "Pudd'nhead Wilson" remains a timeless classic, showcasing Mark Twain's exceptional storytelling and his insightful exploration of complex themes. Through the characters' gripping journeys and the intricate plot, Twain challenges readers to reflect on societal prejudices, racial identity, and the pursuit of justice. Download or read "Pudd'nhead Wilson" today to embark on a literary adventure that is sure to captivate and inspire.