Pudd'nhead Wilson

after reading this letter to the audience,what conclusions can you makeabout the use of the quote from puddnhead Wilson's calendar at the beginning?what purpose does it serve?r

Explain the quote as an example of verbal irony and what it says about this portion of the novel?


Whisper to the reader

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Each chapter opens with at least one quote from Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. We learn in Chapter 5 that this "calendar" is in fact a "whimsical almanac," filled with ironical quips. Though not critical to the story's plot, these satirical passages often foreshadow themes that will arise throughout the chapters. Chapter 1's first quote notes the ability of "ridicule" to annihilate even the noblest of reputations. As an example, it mentions the ass; a humble, hard working creature that has unjustly been labeled stupid.

The ass in these opening chapters is Pudd'nhead Wilson. Like the donkey, Wilson has a number of admirable attributes: he is courteous, diligent, and intelligent (indeed, Roxy describes him as the smartest person in the whole town). His hobbies - though odd to the average townsperson - demonstrate his sharp and meticulous mind. An objective observer might predict that Wilson would enjoy great success - both financial and social - in the small town. Yet, for the first two decades of his residence, nothing could be further from the truth. Wilson's ill-timed "half-dog" remark makes him the subject of constant ridicule. He is unable to jumpstart his law practice and is largely rendered a non-entity in Dawson's Landing. Twain thus reveals that while there is no guarantee for its accuracy, a person's reputation can have a considerable impact on the course of their life.