Essay 1 - Pudd'nhead Wilson (Revision) (s12)

Essay 1 - Pudd'nhead Wilson (Revision) (s12) - Lopez...

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Lopez Catarina Lopez Mother vs. Mother Multiple identities in a person have a great chance of leading said person into a war they cannot win – a series of battles all fought internally. Roxy undoubtedly had a conflict within herself; she was a real mother of one young man and a false mother of another. The real son was the unknowing recipient of her sincere, motherly love, while the fake son was the object of falsehood. To make readers further contemplate every day terms that he turned complex, Twain blurs the line between real and false. Readers become so confused and engulfed in the story that they are unsure of when to use “real” and “fake.” Twain effectively uses narration and Roxy’s dialogue in a way to almost subtly detail her internal battle of real mother vs. false mother. She was trying to become natural at being unnatural. In this novel, the blur between “real” and “fake” pairs with the concept of becoming natural at being unnatural. No matter how hard one tries, winning at an internal battle is impossible. She began to move around like one in a dream. She undressed Thomas ‘a Becket, stripping him of everything, and put the tow- linen shirt on him. She put his coral necklace on her own child’s neck. Then she placed the children side by side, and after earnest inspection she muttered: “Now who would b’lieve clo’es could do de like o’ dat? Dog my cats if it ain’t all I kin do to tell t’ other fum which, let alone his pappy.” Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson (1894) Chapter 3, page 1937, paragraph 13-14 This tremendous change was completely done by one person in a matter of minutes. Each action began with “she,” and there was nothing the babies could do about it. Mark Twain wrote that Roxy “stripp[ed] [Tom] of everything,” which, in a literal sense, meant taking off every piece of his outfit; however, these few words provide a second, more
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Lopez significant meaning. When starting to read about Roxy’s trick, some readers may believe that she is simply taking Tom’s nice clothes, so her son can pass on in the nicest clothes possible. Once the reader has become mesmerized by the smooth depiction of Roxy’s actions, Twain hits the reader with the truth. Roxy has taken away this boy’s true life within a few moments; he was no longer Tom, the rightful heir. Twain’s simile of Roxy moving “around like one in a dream” and his word use, provides the reader with an image of this happening as a dream.
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