Article

Reading Race Through Disability: Slavery and Agency in Mark Twain's <i>Pudd'nhead Wilson</i> and “Those Extraordinary Twins”

Ellen Samuels

in The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730438
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199730438.013.0005

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Reading Race Through Disability: Slavery and Agency in Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson and “Those Extraordinary Twins”

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This article examines the persistence of race, slavery, and disability issues in nineteenth-century American literature. It employs both critical race and disability analysis to argue for a mutually constitutive relationship between these categories of representation in nineteenth-century American literature. The article comments on Mark Twain's novel Puddn'head Wilson and his short story “Those Extraordinary Twins,” which are structured around the mutually supportive tropes of conjoined twins and racial ambiguity.

Keywords: race; slavery; disabilities; American literature; Mark Twain; Puddn'head Wilson; Those Extraordinary Twins; racial ambiguity

Article.  9822 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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