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The prosecution, let by attorney David “Pudd’nhead” Wilson, accuses Mr. Twain of advancing the view, in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, that race is an inherent, essential, and unalterable aspect of a person’s identity. Mr. Twain refutes this charge: he claims that his novel demonstrates that race is, in fact, a social construct.
You will create a dramatic dialogue between Mark Twain (testifying in his own defence) and David “Pudd’nhead” Wilson (arguing on behalf of the prosecution). In this dialogue, Mr. Wilson should try to prove that Mr. Twain’s novel suggests that race is an essential part of a person’s identity, while Mr. Twain should argue the opposite position: that his novel suggests race is a social construct. Although you have some creative latitude for this dialogue, both speakers must support their claims with direct textual evidence (i.e., properly cited quotations from Pudd’nhead Wilson). Because “Mr. Twain” and “Mr. Wilson” are really just stand-ins for two divergent critical positions, the arguments they advance in your dialogue do not need to be consistent with either the historical Mark Twain’s actual beliefs or with the actions and statements of the character “Pudd’nhead Wilson” in Twain’s novel.
Your dialogue should be typed, the quotations you use should be accompanied by parenthetical citations, and you should have all the usual MLA stuff (page numbers, a Works Cited page, etc.). I also encourage you to have some fun with this assignment (spicing up your dialogue with old-timey insults is always a good idea).


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