Essay2 - Karlyn Harris Feburary 2007 English 1102M Essay...

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Karlyn Harris Essay Two Feburary 2007 English 1102M “Tain’t No Sin-- the White Folks Has Done it” “…But if you’re thinking ‘bout my baby It don’t matter if you’re black or white.” --Karlyn Harris’ Calendar (Michael Jackson’s Song) The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson is a literary work that easily allows the modern day reader to have a peek into the reality of what life was like during post-Civil War times. Pudd’nhead touches on many issues that even people today deal with. The issue of nature versus nurture consumes the story and Roxy’s views on the behavior of “Tom”/Chambers is definitely an indication of the times and of the society of which they live. In the beginning of The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson , the plot does not seem tragic, but instead it seems more like a comedic play where morality and the order of the plantation are at risk and ordinary people are caught up in extraordinary situations. Only later does the seemingly comedic plot become blanketed and eventually non-existent when the tragedy comes in and “steals the show” completely. The nature versus nurture views within Pudd’nhead are rooted within the society of Dawson’s Landing, Virginia. When considering the subject of slavery and treatment, the plantation in Dawson’s Landing functioned in a laid-back manner. For a house slave to be able to switch the master’s baby with her own proves that the plantation was not closely observed. The slaves that work in the house (like Roxy) are more likely to take on
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the societal and cultural views of the slave masters because they are around them more than the slaves in the field. In the beginning of the book, Twain explains that Roxy looks white, but the one-sixteenth of her that was black “outvoted” the other fifteen white parts,
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Essay2 - Karlyn Harris Feburary 2007 English 1102M Essay...

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