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Comedy and humor in World Literature Essay


Literature writing is an expression of the happenings in society. Authors normally voice their opinions about issues affecting the society through various themes. These themes closely relate through study of a character’s actions. Literature study involves enjoying the phrases, feeling the narrator’s words in action, imagining, and placing one’s self in the writer’s shoes. Writings with upright thoughts and use icon proposition add complete touch to the main idea which often appears as hidden in books.

Thus, this reflective paper attempts to explicitly explore the use of satire, laughter, comedy, and humor in the books, “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe and “A Simple Heart” by Flaubert Gustave, the poem “Devine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri, and the article “The Rise of Islam and Islamic Literature”. The scope in this analysis is to capture influence of satire and humor in extrapolating themes in these writings. In the conclusive segment, conceptualization is put in place in order to ensure relevance in review of prospect schema.

Things Fall Apart

In the novel “Things Fall Apart”, Chinua Achebe portrays a futuristic community while adopting humor in use of jargon and slang writing styles. Actually, Achebe employs four-word-sub-section paragraphs and snappy sentences to illustrate his message without difficulties.

This style of writing is appealing especially to young generation who does not entertain or like ambiguity. Definitely, the main character Okonkwo’s consciousness and his endeavor to grasp and comprehend the necessity of change have actually driven the plot of the novel. Humor is extensively used in this book to regulate intense mood.

For instance, in the fight between Okonkwo and Amalinze ‘the cat’, the author breaks tension by use of satiric such as fish to connote Amalinze’s back. Okonkwo’s description in itself is comedy. He engages in self-gratification behavior and is interested in fulfilling his own needs. In representing the themes of poverty and failure, Achebe applies satire.

Okonkwo is a direct opposite of his lazy father Unoka. Ironically, despite hating his father, Okonkwo nickname his son after Unoka. Here, the comedy of absurd is presented in the description of the state of poverty in the family of Okonkwo’s father. The author comically describes the only inheritance Okonkwo got from his father as unending debt. The sense of humor goes further to clarify that Unoka did not even leave his youngest wife for Okonkwo to ‘inherit’.

The theme of economic disparity and respect are painted as intense across the novel “Things Fall Apart”. In the series of elder meetings, respect is accorded to those with blotted household and stores of yams. The weaklings among the elders are comically teased as women, bachelors, and a disgrace to manhood.

Despite the fact that these terms are abusive, the comical twist in their use lowers tension among community members united by clan but divided by economic disparities. However, due to the fact that the main character was ignorant, nobody was certain of how the community carried out its duties.

Moreover, “Things Fall Apart” presents an atmosphere that is socially declining in a comical gesture. For instance, introduction of Christianity, which offers an abode to the outcasts, is initially thought as a harmless home of the busybodies. In a comical twist, Okonkwo loses his first son Unoka to the mission centre. In the end, the modernity system which the elders spent days and years ridiculing sweeps the entire village.

Okonkwo loses everything he believed in and dies like an outcast. In a satiric twist of events, the sacrilege taboo of commit suicide on the rope overcomes Okonkwo. The author has succeeded in toning down tension in his rather emotional description of a typical traditional African society before neocolonialism drains the last remains of pure African culture.

A Simple Heart

The 1877 book “A Simple Heart” by Flaubert relies on comic connotation to tone down tension in the life of the main character Felicite. Her rather fruitless existence is described in constant ebbs of satire. Flaubert criticizes such kind of a society by describing it as a ‘non reciprocating’ piece of existence.

The themes of life and death are presented in a satirical touch, especially as a reader views the boundless world in which the main character nurses her naïve dreams. Reflectively, love and spirit have been made easy to accommodate in the thoughts of a reader through use of a light language. As the “Le Perroquet” story develops, the servant girl loses what she proudly refers to as her ‘only love’ to another lady.

Though the departure of Theodore weighs heavily on her, the author lightens the tone by pushing a reader far away from this experience to introduce two lovely children of Auben. Despite the series of people who take advantage of her fragile nature, comedy of absurd indicate that the main character remains selfless in her strong but yet fragile personality.

Reflectively, religious inclination often triggers suspicion and caution among societies. The author uses a toned down language to hallucinate on the pet parrot that double up as a perceived Holy Ghost above the death bed of Felicite. The sound made by this parrot completely distracts the tensed mood as the main character display altruist love.

Though the moment creeps tension and bad feeling on a reader, the main character seems to careless and has a bestial attitude. In the end, the rather somber mood of the story line is lightened by the parrot, the main character’s unexamined life, and a soft awakening language.

Devine Comedy

The poem “Devine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri addresses the theme of building own insight and understanding through reflection and deeds that is comically painted as oscillating continually. Moreover, Dante claims that people acquire intellectual superiority as a consequence of their experience both in their subjective involvement in environment and to apply such models in their practical life.

The imaginative description of afterlife leaves a reader gasping for breath. The author introduces a soft stance on death and classifies it as a good thing. In the paradiso lines, the author states that any variance between actual heaven and the perceived heaven are a creation of the mind.

The “Devine Comedy” is visionary poem which paints an image of a life that operates below expectations. Actually, the events of the poem happen in an afterlife imagined in the mind. Unluckily, people with inadequate resources are simply left behind and brushed away. The “Devine Comedy” is a poem that focuses on futuristic fiction. In fact, all characters are not future minded people. Similarly, in the modern world, most kids are heartless and insensitive.

Moreover, the modern world is a rotten place where people only involve in callous behaviors with intention of self gratification. This is a culture where people are not open minded, but are superficially entrenched to fulfill selfless desires. This results into social problems. In fact, people are so much concerned with materialistic possession without endeavoring to build religious faith. However, the tensed theme is presented in a light comical language that keeps a reader focused.

The poem “Devine Comedy” is actually significant to not only young people, but also to older generation. Although, the poem commences on a good note, the end is horrible. This conveys a special message to modern people to thinks about their lives. Actually, the poem compels people to be open-minded and to embrace objective deeds beyond personal gratification.

The poet conveys useful message to people who continue with their technological blindness without nourishing spiritual and humane values of life. Too much entrenchment in artificial intelligence and technological material possession has led to the collapse of human thought.

The Rise of Islam and Islamic Literature

The article “The Rise of Islam and Islamic Literature” relies heavily on a balance of irony and realism to present a very unique literary style of depicting different religious inclinations. Religion is simply indicated as a very important factor which plays a role in development of one’s identity in terms of race, gender, family relationships, and social status.

The article shows how an individual’s sense of character is vulnerable to control by others when their religious beliefs are shallowly rooted. Interestingly, the subjective description of the sojourn as Muslims interact with Persians creates a comical irony. Satire creeps in the rejection of non Arabic language Koran despite the fact that such a translation would be beneficial to non Arabic speaking Muslims.

Without a religious angle, this article would be similar to watching a movie with no camera effects, no sound effects, and with unknown characters as the only aim is passing a message. In the author’s use of the religious desires as a theme, he succeeds in characterizing the powerful in the society and the weaker ones in their desire to find love, maintain marriages, and climb economic ladder within the religious cycles without having to introduce resentment for either quarter.

Interestingly, the wall limiting desires in these persons is an unending phenomenon which cannot be destroyed. Instead of focusing on either antagonistic or protagonist stand, the narrator present a brief on both sides. Religion grooms people to be caring. Indeed, religious idea was rarely discussed in the society. However, with intelligence and braveness, the article talked about religion in an open, attractive and agitating language.

Actually, religion comprised one of the many mysteries that writers never dare to investigate upon. Furthermore, the conflict in the narrative was due to religious vision that associated with time rather than the mankind. However these ideas are sarcastically narrated. Indeed, this is an eventual remark to the short feature of religious pleasure in life.

Conclusively, the authors have succeeded in assimilating comical touch in their rather emotional story lines. Fortunately, the self regulating society seems to offer a facilitated explanation for common support. The authors have imposed the above thoughts in a comical, satiric and humorous presentation.

Through recognizing aspects of loyalty, moral crisis, honor, and revenge, the authors give their stories a portrait of a typical society filled with human action drama that combines stories of self-discovery and love without creating discomfort in personalities in the plot.

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IvyPanda. (2019, November 20). Comedy and humor in World Literature. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/comedy-and-humor-in-world-literature/

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1. IvyPanda. "Comedy and humor in World Literature." November 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comedy-and-humor-in-world-literature/.


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IvyPanda. "Comedy and humor in World Literature." November 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comedy-and-humor-in-world-literature/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Comedy and humor in World Literature." November 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/comedy-and-humor-in-world-literature/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Comedy and humor in World Literature'. 20 November.

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