Essay Title: 

New Historic Criticism of Pudd`n Head Wilson

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in english literature, literature and language

New Historic Criticism of Pudd ‘nhead Wilson

The striking lack of agreement about the merits of Mark Twain ‘s Pudd ‘nhead Wilson , is undoubtedly related to the equally striking disagreements over the interpretations and analysis of the novel . In a crucial senses , related to all the thematic analysis presented so far leave important aspects of the novel unaccounted for . As a result , those who are inclined to praise the novel dismiss certain parts as finally inconsequential evidence of Twain ‘s predictably careless technique . On the other hand those who have serious reservations [banner_entry_middle]

about its merits stress its lack of coherence , lack of an action suitable to embody what appear to be the author ‘s chief concerns

Although the interpretations vary widely , ranging from the view that its theme is the conflict between reality and appearance to the assertion that it has no clear meaning , two interpretative emphases are most common . First , there are critics who stress upon racial themes especially slavery and miscegenation or marriages between different races . And second those who argue for the centrality of the theme of environmental determinism and see slavery as simply a metaphor for Twain ‘s more general concern , with the influence of training of the individual . While both these approaches give valuable insight , both are unsatisfactory because they leave too many questions unanswered

It was once considered that the integrity of imagination was violated by interpretation , considerations of race , class and sex have not entered into the most formalist readings

In Pudd ‘nhead Wilson , Twain presents a critique of slavery and race relations in the American South . He highlights the arbitrariness of racial distinctions and classifications by showing how easily Roxana , a slave is able to switch her own son with the offspring of her master The young usurper grows among the whites without suspicion , and Twain is able to demonstrate how artificial and constructed racial distinctions actually are

Race , Conflict and Culture

The recently increased interest in Mark Twain ‘s Pudd ‘nhead Wilson ‘ is a text that turns the misapprehension of gender and race in a mid-nineteenth century Southern town into a complicated spoof of the fiction of law and customs ‘ in the United States . Pudd ‘nhead Wilson depicting race and custom identity within legal and scientific discourses lends itself readily to the new kind of historic readings related to Race , Conflict and Culture ‘ A white skinned man , robs and murders and he subsequently discovers , through the science of fingerprinting , that he is actually a descendent of African race and a slave . In his infancy , he was changed with his young master , Valet de Chamber or (Chambers , alias Tom Driscoll , seems almost to be tailor-made for the audience of 1990 ‘s . This book is considered as an intriguing depiction of complexities and constructions of race in the late nineteenth century United States

Recent attention to racial issues , and renewed interest of literary criticism in history , has helped define the precise nature of cultural tragedy which is presented in the novel . The traditional… [banner_entry_footer]

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