Pudd’nhead Wilson is a story of mistaken identities in 1890s Missouri. Roxy, a slave who is one-sixteenth black, is afraid that she and her infant son Chambers will be sold to a plantation where conditions are much harsher, so she switches Chambers with the master’s son, Tom. The false Tom grows up spoiled and immoral; after Roxy blackmails him, he commits murder, and everything comes down to the fingerprints taken by a local lawyer when Tom and Chambers were babies. The novel examines the ideas of identity and irony.
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