Thursday, April 8, 2010

journal response

Puddn'head Wilson, written by Mark Twain, is often included on the list of great and classic novels. Robert A. Wiggins disagrees. His article "A Literary Caesarean Operation" describes a novel that is shallow, poorly developed and lacking from an author that can do better. Twain proved himself, according to Wiggins, in Huckleberry Finn with his well-developed characters and their relationships. In comparison to PUddn'head Wilson. Wiggins finds the actors and story flaawed. He found the philosophy and racial commentary intriguing, but the execution seems disjointed and pieced together. This is probably because Twain ended up deviating from his original plot focuz on the "Extraordinary Twins"; however Wiggins does not accept this as an excuse. He finds areas of inconsistency in Twain's conclusion. Through Tom Driscoll, Twain makes the statement that "blood is thicker than water" (Wiggins 183). In direct opposition is Valet de 'Chambre who cannot live as a white man even when he discovered his blood-line, because he was raised as a black man. Wiggins' makes an illuminating analysis of the novel and concludes that Puddn'head Wilson is a poorly compromised novel that barely brushes the surface of its intriguing theme.

Although Wiggins' arguments are very logical and make sense, I disagree with him. I think that Twain is a brilliant author and proved it with his writing of Huckleberry Finn, but that Puddn'head Wilson exemplifies it even more. Twain showed his depth in Huck Finn and I therefore believe that he was just as purposeful with Puddn'head Wilson. IF there were inconsistencies in the social commentary, then it was put there for a reason. Like Wiggins, I noticed the contradicting ending with Tom and Chambers. But rather than Twain declaring one all-encompassing answer to the nature-nurture debate, which is what Wiggins seems to think he ewas trying to do, I believe he was showing the absurdities with placing emphasis on skin color. The tragic circumstances in the novel lead the audience to feel sorry for both boys mixed up in the race mess, and the conclusion is perfect to make a stand against prejudice and racial profiling.

1 comment:

  1. I will write my comments on the paper version, Allie.