Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pudd'nhead Wilson

I have to admit I wasn't really all that interested in Pudd'nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain. The first half of the novel was not very interesting for me to read, and the southern accent made it even more difficult to read smoothly.

The second half of the novel was much more interesting, but I think my favorite part was the trial and eventual conclusion of the novel. I thought the use of fingerprints at that period in history was very interesting, and I can only imagine Pudd'nhead trolling through all the fingerprint records of the town in order to find a match, that must have taken a week at least.

I also found it interesting how, at the very end, Pudd'nhead reveals Tom's true identity rather than Roxy who had been holding that trump card of hers for so many years only to never have the chance to use it.

The fates of Tom and Chambers is also interesting. Regardless of who they turned out to be in reality, they are still the people they were raised to be. I can only imagine how Tom adjusted to his new slave lifestyle after being sold and shipped down the river. And poor Chambers, having to have lived as a slave for so long only to discover he is actually white and has the opportunity to live a new, free life... but he dosen't even know how or dosen't seem to want to live amongst whites.


  1. The last part of that book is indeed dramatic. Pudd'nhead Wilson figures out one part of the fingerprint mystery when Tom is taunting him, but the rest of the evidence must have taken a while.

  2. I also really enjoyed Twain's incorporation of finger prints. Its very interesting how fiction tends to become reality over and over again.