Humor in Motherless Brooklyn

By Karyna Statko

I read until page 169. There is a lot of different situations in this novel that send us humor. Most of the time Lionel’s tics add a little bit of humor in every situation where he is. Especially when he is talking about something seriously, or he feels so exited about something, or when he is lying. There is the situation when Lionel talking with Tony on the phone and he is really lying to him, but his tics let Tony, probably, understand that he is lying to him. He says, “Eatmegreenpoint” and “Greenphone! Greepycone! Phonyman!” (155-156). But at that time all readers know the true and this is the example of dramatic irony and wordplay. We can see that his tics add more humor during all story.

I think, the situation with a detective who was trying to ask Lionel something about Minna is funny. Lionel start making fun of him:

“Tourette Is the Shitman!”

The detective apparently thought we were exchanging up-to-the minute street jargon. “Can you take me to him?” 

“No, no, there’s no Tourette”, I said, catching my breath. I felt mad for food, desperate to shake the detective, and choked with imminent tics.

“Don’t worry”, said the detective, talking down to me. “I won’t tell him who gave out his name”.

He thought he was grooming a stool pigeon. I could only try not o laugh or shout. Let Tourette be the suspect and maybe I’d get off the hook (110).

This dialogue is the example of misunderstanding. At this situation, Lionel uses detective unknowing about the Tourette in order to confuse and mislead him.

During all the story we can see enough a lot of funny situations and dialogues, that make reader smile or maybe even laugh about everything that is going on in the story at this moment.



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