How does do the many ironic aspects of the story add to the satirical facets of the novel? Why is this needed at all?
HOw does THE! sorry... :)
Hailey--I think that Twain does this to draw the reader into the story emotionally. Yeah, it might not be completely necessary, but I think that witout it the story lacks a certain aspect of you wishing you could jump in and tell the characters what's going on.
Some of the main ideas in this text are the concepts of :Racism/slaverySouthern Aristocracyhuman natureHow does Mark twain feel about these topics and how does he put a satirical spin on them?
Why is it you never really hear about Chambers? You alway hearing about the things that Tom does, but it's almost like Chamber has "fallen off the face of the Earth"
Hailey-when Twain adds irony it puts the reader on edge because the reader want to just jump and and tell the character what is going to happen, but instead the reader has to finish the book to find out what happens.
Satire is, in my opinion, the use of irony to help prove a point.
Kelsey-I believe Mark Twain was not neccesarly a racist, however, he was a product of his time. Which was obviously very tumoltious and racist. I believe he is very much with his tyime about some aspects of racism yet he is ahead of his time about others.
Do you think the irony Twain incorporates into the story help the reader understand the text more? How does this irony contribute to the plot?
Hailey J, Throughout the story, Twain uses irony to add the the effect of his satirical perspetctive. He focues mainly in the form of dramatic and situational irony to give the story depth and to make the reader keep reading. Without this, the story would be dry and have no purpose to reading it. Not only that, but the reader would not take away from anything whereas now, with the use of irony, the reader can learn important lessons and be able to relate to personal experiences.
Alex:Chambers is truly not of signifigance in this text. The plot is primarily about Tom. Chambers was necicary in the beginning, but now he is not.
Well, since a satire is essentially a text making fun of some social system, The irony extenuates the effect. Irony, especcially sarcasm, are very effective for pointing out flaws and exposing weak points, so irony is uniquely suited to satirical stories as a mode of helping get their point across.
Hailey-- I think the irony is put into the book because it helps to mock the people in it. Maybe Mark Twain was trying to say, "yes these people are rediculous" and then make fun of that fact. The irony represents the tension between the characters and without coming out and saying it.
So the calendar is full of irony, but what do you think about "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" (pg.112 Chapter 19)?
Alexandriab2012--I have been wondering the same thing. I mean when you first meet the characters in the first couple of chapters, both Tom and Chambers seem of equal importance to the plot of the story. Without them both, the switch could never have been made and there would be no story. Perhaps how much Twain writes about both characters symbolizes the type of people they are. Chambers is very meek and humble, and that mirrors his involvement in this story. However, Tom is loud and thinks highly of himself, and you also notice that he has become the person that we read most about in Pudd'nhead Wilson.
Kelsey- I think Twain tries to send a message about human nature frequently throughout this book. He uses irony and satire to show how he feels about our species. For example it is ironic how greedy and unkind Tom is and how he manages to ruin a life aranged for him that he was not even supposed to have. I think through this Twain is trying to say how ungrateful and selfish humans can be.
Alex, I agree. I wish Twain would tell us more about chambers. Just imagine what could happen if chambers realized his ancerstry.
In this text would you identify Roxy as a heroine or a protaganist? What about Tom?
Kelsey--I believe that Mark Twain is mainly against racism and slavery but he didn't want his colleagues to openly mock him so he found a way to state is opinion without stating his opinion. He states that Roxy is one miniscule part black and makes her speak like the black mammy of those days even tough she is an attractive white woman.
Alex- I think that you hear little about hambers throughout the book because Twain was trying to show the racist aspects of his time. Chambers was born a slave therefore he is little in the eyes of the middle class white-men although Tom is also part black he wasn't born a slave and therefore he recieves wayy more attention than Chambers.
Ben - I would agree. The use of satire is more like a slap in the face. It shows the realism that can be seen if we would take the time to look for it. It is found easily but we cover it up with our lives whether it is something very good or very bad, it is part of our culture so we let it be. In Twain's novel there are many aspects of satirical facets. It opens the eyes of the reader and makes us evaluate the past, the present and what our future will look like. It is a lesson in itself and satire should be used more.
Hannah- I think that the irony contributes to the plot to try and show another side to what is happening. The story would be very different if Roxy did not switch the babies or if Tom didn't find out he was actually born a slave. We all knew she switched them, but when Tom finds out it adds another twist to the story showing what he think about his past.
Alex -- I was thinking that exact same thing while reading last night. I feel like Chambers is such a great ironic part of the story, and yet his character has pretty much disappeared from the plot. Perhaps it's because his story can be assumed: He grew up to be a slave who, because of his ability to outshine Tom, was abused, and that's the end of that. Tom, however, grew to be a shrewd master who is now struggling with the knowledge that he is was actually born a slave, not to mention his monetary concerns. So basically, I think Chambers hasn't been seen in the story because his story has less to it.
Kelsey-- I agree that Chambers is less important but do you think that some how he'll find out about what Roxy did to him when he was younger? Do you believe had he been brouht up as a rich white man that he would have turned out like Tom or that he would have a been nice towards African Americans?
What do you think is the purpose of the quotes from Wilson's calender at the beginning of each chapter.
Alex-- I think that the quote means that when you see a good example, it is hard to live up to it. If you find a good example, it becomes an annoyance because you have to work to match that example.
Alexandria, I think the purpose of not including Chambers in this plot is used to add to the irony in the story. Generally speaking, one of the common stereotypes of slaves are that they become invisible in the eyes of the whites. Tom, though he is a true slave, grew up living and thinking in the mind set of a white person whereas Chambers, though he was the true heir to his uncle's plantation, grew up believing he was a slave and was not as good as everyone else. By taking him out of the picture, Twain subtly adds to the stereotype of people on a lower level being ledss noticed.
I agree with Ben, satire is a clever way to prove a point. In a way, it is a more efficiant way of communication. I mean everyone can express an opinion, but it almost requires an educational wit to respond with satire.
Taking a thought from the inner circle. Is it more of the thoughts and words that define a person? Or the actions? people can say one thing, but they don't necessarily practice what they preach...
Benm-- Do you think Chambers will get a clue and understand that he is supposed to be Tom? And do you believe that Chambers would have turned out like Tom or a nice person had fate not been changed?
Chambers might be shown so little in the story because there is nothing to say about him any more. His character is done devoloping unless the truth is revealed and he is thrust into a different situation, but as of now, there is nothing to say about him. Chambers is a slave, who spends all his time on menial tasks and trying to do less work. He is a static character, where as Tom is Dynamic, and central to advancing the plot.
Ben- I have been wondering the same thing because I'm finding it hard to connect them to what the chapters are about. I think they might be Twain's way of trying to get his message about life and human nature across.
I believe the purpose of the quote is to show the lesson in each chapter such as in chapter 1 "Tell the truth or Trump but get the trick." In bridge the object is to get all the cards and you can either lie or tell the truth about the power in those cards. Roxy trumps to get a better life for her son.BENJAMIN--
Hailey- I think actions define a person the most. I agree with you when you say 'people don't always practice what they preach'. It all depends on if people take action. It is easy to say you will do something but it takes courage to actually do it.
Hailey--As the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words".I'n definitely not going to disagree with this, but I would argue that a person actions are influenced directly by their thoughts.
Alex:I believe that one of the statements that Twain is trying to make with this book is the importance of social rank and the consequence of breaking it. The other town members who are similar to Tom as far as social standing do not have his same personality traits (the bad ones anyways). So I do not entirely concede that it was his surroundings which made Tom the way he is. So in that thinking I do not think that "Chambers" would be the same as Tom, had he grown up that way.
Hailey- I think it is a combination of both. If you commit bad actions then people will say thing bad about you and if you commit good actions people are happy with you. You can think one thing, but commiting that actions has a much deeper affect on the people around you whether then you expressing your thoughts towards someone.
Hailey -- I think it's definitely what you do that defines you. People can say or think countless things, but the way that society sees you is through what you do. No one can know what's going through your head. If you just think about everything but don't say or do anything about it, people will just classify you as a quiet person, of something of the sort.
Alex- I believe right now that neither will realize that they were swithced. And it is hard to say, the fact that Chambers would have grown up in such a racist enviornment its hard to say that he would end up kind like he is now. That's really the whole nature versus nurture argument. Are people the product of thier situation, or are they born a certain way?
So a question to all -- Had Chambers grown up the way he was supposed to be (so he'd actually be Tom), would have turned out like Tom or do you think he would have been nice and had morals? And had te fates not been changed by Roxy, what do you think would have happened to each character?
Are there aspects in the story where people say one thing, but do another? Not just to trick someone, but that is just the character's nature?
Hailey- I think as much as we often like to think words can define a person, the actions are what really define them. I mean think about it, are you more likely to remember something someone said they were going to do and didn't, or someone who actually DID whatever they said they were going to do?
Hailey-- I think that it is primarily thoughts that define a person. If they think badly it's one thing, but if you act badly, it proves you are a bad person. For example, Tom thought about taking advantage of his uncle and mother's willingness to give, but then actually took advantage of it, by selling his mother into slavery, etc.
in response to the inner question, DID TOM HAVE A CHOICE? I say yes you always have a choice, he did it to better her life as she had bettered his.
Alexandra Bunker-That is a very interesting question. In a way, Twain uses Tom to poke fun at Southern Aristocracy. I'm not sure how Chambers would have turned out, but I am going to assume that he would not have differed from Tom. The difference is the way they were raised, Tom had everything handed to him which made him a manipulative, spoiled, liar. He takes no responsibility for his actions.
Alex, I think that by the end of the book, Chambers will realize his true identity, But, someone else will tell him. If it were not for Roxy, I think chambers would have allways tougt of himself as a slave. Also, i beleive that if the two children were not switched, Chambers would be just like tom.
Alex- I think Chambers would have acted a lot like Tom does if their fates had not been changed. People are not born good or bad it is all a product of the circumstances in which they were raised. Just like if Tom had been raised a slave I'm sure he would probably be a much nicer person.
Ben M, I was wondering the same thing about the quotes from the calendar at the beginning of each chapter. I looked it up online and found that Twain published the book with the quotes because they were used to give the following chapter a deeper meaning. They are used to be relatable to everyday life, and add significance to the plot. Though they seem to not exactly fit in at the time, they seem to come together and fit into place as more events occur throughout the plot, and provide more to the story than meets the eye.
Actions and words both define you. For example, saying you will rob somebody and proceeding to do so says you are a thief, yet an honest person. Not following through shows that you are a joker with bad taste in humor. But saying you will guard a persons valuables and then stealing them is worse, for it exposes yyou as a liar and a villain.
However if she hadn't persuaded him, his choice might have been different.