Pudd Nhead Wilson Character Analysis

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A mother’s love is a force strong enough to drive a woman to drastic measures in order to ensure that her children are raised in better conditions than the mother herself experienced during her own childhood. In Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, the character of Roxanna is a classic example of this statement. Throughout the novel, Roxy seeks to do well for her son, only to find situations are more complicated than she thought them out to be, as well as hurting countless others in her own crusade by blurring the lines of what it means to be good and evil. A victim of societal conventions, Roxanna believes that her deeds are positively impacting the injustice of society, but also fails to see what consequences her actions will hold to the point …show more content…

A slave owned by Percy Driscoll, Roxy is only one-sixteenth black and by her appearance alone could she pass for being racially white. Despite her fair skin and straight, brown hair, she is still considered a slave due to societal conventions that declare persons with even minute traces of African ancestry are to be considered black. Moreover, while her son shares her seemingly white features, being only one-thirty-second black himself, he too is considered a slave by law. Because of her physical being, her actions and decisions are affected as a result. Her religion at first is a source of conflict as she decides between what she considers morally right and wrong, but her guilt is washed away when she reasons that white people act in the same manner. As the nanny to Driscoll’s infant son, Roxanna is able to convincingly switch her biological son in place of her master’s son, Thomas à Becket Driscoll, when both children are only a few months old in order to ensure that her son lives a life free from slavery. Although Roxy changes their identities out of motherly love, it is through her foolish, impulsive actions that she begins the downward spiral that ultimately destroys her son’s life. Along with this, she also

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