Thursday, March 25, 2010


With McTeague, I found McTeague's courtship of Trina to be very interesting. At this time period it is very common for the male to send the female gifts to gain her favor, but in McTeague this doesn't happen. Trina even makes note of this where she compares the way that McTeague is courting her with the way Marcus had courted her. I am surprised that Trina allowed her relationship with McTeague to grow because he bumbled every step of the way.

From their first "intimate" interaction where McTeague kissed her while unconscious and then asks her to marry him. The book does not indicate that Trina was aware that she was kissed by McTeague, which works in McTeague's favor, but with McTeague hounding her to marry him after she had just gained consciousness should have caused her to run off and never turn back.

I can't help but think that their position in society gave more leeway in the bundles made by McTeague during the courtship. By being "lower class" the courtship appears to be less formal than those from the "upper class". Tying into the "lower class" is the fact that Trina's parents are either immigrants or first generation children of immigrants that caused them to not be aware of the courtship traditions of America which also played in McTeague's favor. It appears that Trina's parents are decieved by the fact that McTeague is a "Doctor", and thus gives him more credit then he deserves.

With all this in mind, Trina is aware of all of these things and yet she still ends up marrying McTeague. I am floored. I figure that Trina would never interact with McTeague again after the "Marry Me" incident.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pudd'nhead Wilson

In class while discussing honor and identity it got me thinking about how since Luigi is an dishonorable man, so Judge Driscoll would not have a gun fight and that "Tom" would dress up as a woman to hide his identity when he went raiding. I do not think I am going anywhere specific with these observations.

Talking about honor today it makes sense to me that the Judge would not have a showdown with Luigi because being an assassin is dishonorable. What I have a problem with though is that the Judge basically said that he was going to shoot him on the street, or something to that effect, when he would see him on the street once the election was further in the past. I find this to be highly dishonorable to go out and shoot someone in the street. Luigi would be looking for the same retribution, but to me if he would have shot the Judge in the street is justifiable because he would not give Luigi the chance to defend his honor. I feel as though since the Judge would not grant Luigi another duel that he did not have the right to shoot him on the street.

When talking about identity today I am surprised that we did not touch on the fact that "Tom" was a cross-dressing thief. Of course this does not have anything to do with racial identity, but gender identity instead. I am definitely not sure if Twain is attempting to make a social commentary about how women are just as strong and independent as men, which is seen with Roxy's character and how a "woman" can be a thief. Maybe it says more about "Tom's" identity crisis with his internal struggle of being the child of a slave. After kind of working it out here, I suppose it makes the most sense that he would dress as a black woman when going on his raids on the town because presumably he obtained this from his mother's "blood", and then to fully emulate a thief he had to dress as a black woman. There are probably more practical explanations such as the majority of the slaves that would work in the home are female, as most male slaves worked the fields.