Nature And Nurture In Mark Twain's Pudd Nhead Wilson

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What makes a person who they really are? This question has been posed by many for a long time. Mark Twain’s novel, Pudd'nhead Wilson, is a solid analysis of how nature and nurture can greatly affect someone's character. Set in a time where slavery is prevalent, it is set in the perfect time to show how greatly the “nurture”, or environment, of a person can greatly affect their life and their character. In Pudd'nhead Wilson, Twain uses the role of family to show that the environment in which a person is raised in will often dictate what kind of individual they will become. When Roxy changes out the babies, she directly changes both of their lives, since that decide what family they will be raised by. Right from the beginning, their lives are changed because of the swap, as Twain notes, “Tom got all the petting, Chambers got none. Tom got all the delicacies, Chambers got mush and milk, and clabber without sugar. In …show more content…

Since he was the one who grow up as a space, “Chambers was strong beyond his years, and a good fighter, strong because he was coarsest fed, and hard worked about the house, and a good fighter because Tom furnished him plenty of practice…”(27) Had Chambers grown up with his birth family, he wouldn't have gotten those experiences. Twain notes that it's those experiences as a slave that made him the strong, hardworking person he was. Even at the end, when Chambers learns his true identity, he still acts like the way he was raised, which is that of a slave. Twain writes, “his manners were the manners of a slave. Money and fine clothes could not mend the defects or cover them up; they only made hem more glaring and more pathetic.” (136)Even though he was a “white man”, he still acted as a slave. Twain is proving that the nurture, or family that someone is raised by shapes their true

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