Teacher Guide

Pudd'nhead Wilson Lesson Plan

Introduction to Pudd'nhead Wilson

Pudd'nhead Wilson was written during Mark Twain's "pessimistic period." At the time, Twain was living in Italy, attempting to recover from his recent bankruptcy. To raise some funds, he sold the rights to the novel to Century Magazine for $6,500. The magazine ran Pudd'nhead Wilson in seven monthly installments, which first came out in December 1893 and concluded in June 1894. Shortly thereafter, in 1894, the book was published and released by the American Publishing Company.

In Pudd'nhead Wilson, Twain delivers a scathing critique of slavery and race relations in the American South. He highlights the arbitrariness of racial classifications and distinctions, by showing how easily Roxy (a...

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