Humoristic scenes in Motherless Brooklyn



Hello all,

In the novel Motherless Brooklyn written by Jonathan Lethem, we are able to find several humoristic passage that is intentionally made by the main character and by other characters. One of the absurd yet funny moment occurs when the four men hustled Lionel into the car and they are talking to each other. Lionel is listening to the kidnappers’ conversation. They are arguing with each other in order to find a way to scare Lionel therefore he isn’t afraid of them at all. It is humorous when one of them says: “We’re supposed to throw a scare into you” (146) because they are showing how bad they’re as kidnappers. Another amusing moment is done by Lionel when he asks: “Whose! A! Dress!” (149)  I believe that it is a funny wordplay between the word “address” and “A dress”.

Lastly, there is also the scene where they decides release Lionel and just walk away. The conversation ends by, “You’ll have to forgive us. This isn’t what we do. We’re men of piece.”(152)  It is funny because we see that the characters aren’t actually super villains.

Amanda Ging Sze Chan


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