Twains Puddn head Wilson
Read Twains Puddnhead Wilson and write a brief reaction to FIVE of the questions attached to this syllabus (2+ pages).(CT)
The question identified before the response.
Twain pits tradition and public opinion against science (fingerprinting) in this novel. How are these forces alike and how are they different? Which triumphs in the end?
In Puddnhead Wilson, the old Nature v Nurture question is interestingly posed. What role does a persons innate qualities play in this novel? How would your answer relate to Twains analysis of slavery?
Roxy is one of the most intelligent characters in the book, but is she likable? Why or why not? How does her cleverness contrast with her social position?
The characters in this novel assume a variety of disguises that range from Toms passing as a white man, to Roxys dressing as a man, to the dresses Tom uses when hes robbing houses. How does the use of literal disguises relate to the use of racial disguises? How does the use of disguises provide a commentary on identity? On race?
How do the excerpts from Puddnhead Wilsons Calendar fit into the text? Which did you like best? Is the comedy appropriate given the books serious nature? Explain.
How are the twins, Angelo and Luigi like Tom and Chambers.
Roxy tells Tom that it is his blackness that makes him a coward. Is this evidence that Twain supported racist views? Choose an uncomfortable moment in the book and analyze it. Why do these moments occur? How might our contemporary understanding of race be different from Twains?
How is your hometown community like Dawsons Landing? How much or how little have opinions changed from Twains day?
Identify a concept or theory of human development we have discussed in class and elaborate on how it was demonstrated in the book. Cite passages in the book that make your argument.