Literature Study GuidesPuddnhead Wilson

Pudd'nhead Wilson | Study Guide

Mark Twain

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Mark Twain

Year Published





Historical Fiction, Mystery

Perspective and Narrator

The story Pudd'nhead Wilson is told by an omniscient third-person narrator.


Pudd'nhead Wilson is narrated in the past tense.

About the Title

Although the novel is now better known simply as Pudd'nhead Wilson—the nickname for one of its main characters—its original title was The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson and the Comedy of Those Extraordinary Twins. The title reflects the story's origins in a comedy about a set of twins. In writing the novel, Twain found that another character, David "Pudd'nhead" Wilson, took over the story. The novel is not so much a tragedy as a melodrama (artistic work characterized by emphasis on dramatic plot over character) involving switched identities and a blend of humor and pathos (emotion).


This study guide for Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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