Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I am writing this blog report on Roxy and the confusing nature of her personality and views on slavery. Roxy was a house slave for the Driscolls in the story Pudd'n Head Wilson, her complexion is white and she is only one sixteen black, she switched her baby for the child of Master Driscoll when they were babies. "Tom" and "Valet" are the two boys and Tom is her true son. "Tom" grows up as her master and their relation is interesting because although he is her son he is also her master. "Tom" is mean and cruel to her and "Valet" eventually the elder, Percy Driscoll dies and in his will sets Roxy free. She spends a couple years on a boat that sails up and down the Mississippi as a chambermaid. She chooses to remember "Tom" as nice and kind and overlooks his cruelty in her memories. She returns broke because a bank went bankrupt and lost her money. She at first begs "Tom" to help her and give her a few dollars. He remains cruel and mean and says no until she holds over his head knowledge of what he thinks is his gambling debt. She reveals to him the truth, that he is actually her son and a nigger. From then on he struggles and gives her large amounts of money every week. This is interesting because Roxy seems to only care about the money that she can get from her son. She cares naught about him and has no problem black mailing her own son. After a while she asserts her control and begins dictating what "Tom" needs to do so he can keep him inheritance from the Judge who was Percy Driscolls brother and caretaker of "Tom". The way that Roxy treats the inheritance is almost as if it is far more important than "Tom" to her. She is very self interested and only cares about her own well being, and seems to only care for "Tom" because he is the fulcrum that her well being swings on. Although when things turn for the worse again and "Tom" once again gets himself into gambling debt. She offers to sell herself into slavery again so he can pay off his debt and keep his inheritance. He betrays her and sells her down river and into chattel slavery. She catches a bit of luck when she runs away from her new master and finds that the boat that she served as a chambermaid on for years is close to port. She hops on and returns to her son to make him guilty. She then demands that he go and steal the money needed to pay for her freedom from Judge Driscoll. "Tom" has no choice but to obey his mother for she is still black mailing him. He does and ends up killing his "Uncle". Throughout the book Roxy was a powerful and influential character. Although she did not play the role of loving mother very well, most of her decisions revolved around self interests and money.