Misleading Interpretation Of Southern Society In Mark Twain's Novel, Pudd’nhead Wilson

547 words - 2 pages

Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson has always been considered a great American novel. However, upon its publication, Martha McCulloch Williams wrote a letter describing the inaccuracy of the book. She believed that Twain falsely depicted the Southern people throughout the story and used inaccurate facts about their society.
Williams’ main piece of evidence is her own observations. She was a wealthy white woman, whose family owned a plantation and she fully experienced southern society. She was also a highly educated and intellectual individual whose observations can be assumed accurate. She accused Twain of depicting the south the way the reader may wish it to be instead of what is truthful. Twain uses stereotypical ideas of the southern society instead of researching and discovering what is true and what is thought to be true. Twain’s storyline blames the Southern culture for the cruel, spoiled personality of the slave baby, who was brought up in a white, rich household. Williams argues that it is Roxy’s fault the boy is this way. She did not punish her son properly, and was nothing but loving towards the boy even when he was lashed out against her. Williams furthermore argues that Roxy misrepresents a real “black mammy.” For, regardless of a race, she would have spanked the two children equally and treated them impartially. In addition, the selling of the slaves within the household was highly unlikely. The price of an excellent servant exceeded any sort of money one could receive for it and selling was a great...

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