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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.66, No.2, 329 ~ 350, 2020
Black Slave Owners & White Slaves: The Dilemma of Pedigree in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson
노동욱 Dong-wook Noh
This study explores complex aspects of passing in Mark Twain’s novel Pudd’nhead Wilson while focusing on the motif of changeling. First, this study examines the ‘one-drop rule.’ Pudd’nhead Wilson establishes the criticism against the contemporary ‘one-drop rule’ which virtually defined mixed bloods as black. The motif of changeling becomes a device to question the standards of boundaries between black and white and a slave owner and a slave; it changes the places between a white slave owner’s son and a black slave’s son. Meanwhile, just as important as the motif of changeling are their lives after the changing of places. “Tom” who becomes a white slave owner later realizes that the black slave lineage is inherent in him. The confusion of racial identity and inner anguish and conflict he experienced are important topics of passing. Next, this study investigates the dilemma of pedigree caused by the overlap between Roxy’s status discourse and the racial discourse of those days. Roxy’s claim that his son “Tom” is of noble descent opposes the racial discourse of those days which disdained the lineage of African-American. The overlap of the Southern status discourse with the racial discourse generates the oxymoron “high born nigger.” The fundamental aim of the baby-switching motif is to parody the situation in which Tom is split into a “high born/nigger” by considering Mulatto’s existence as an inherent white/black separate identity.
Key Words
마크 트웨인, 『바보 윌슨』, 패싱, 한방울법칙, 신분 담론, Mark Twain, Pudd`nhead Wilson, passing, one-drop rule, status discourse
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