Humour Exercise

Through pages 145-203 , there are many instances of humour. For example when Lionel and Loomis are arguing about the Fujisaki company. During their discussion over the phone we see how misunderstanding eachother can be pretty funny on its own:

“I don’t know”

“Or vice versa?”

” I don’t know”

“Or did the same guy kill them both?”

“I don’t know, Loomis.”

“So your aren’t learning much besides what I’m digging up for you, huh?”

“Eat me, Loomis.” (193-194)

This seen is quite funny because we can imagine how each of these character’s facial expressions might be. By using misunderstanding, we see how annoyed people can get when they don’t understand whats going on. The readers understand what they are trying to express but the characters don’t and that’s what makes it funny.

Another scene that is pretty comical is when Lionel is trying to meditate and yells out,           “Pierogi Monster Sez master zealous neighbor. Zazen zaftig Zsa Zsa go-bare.” ( Pg 201) When Lionel screams this out in the middle of this very important meditation scene, it’s really funny because the monks look at Lionel like he is completely crazy and that he is doing this on purpose to annoy everyone. Lethem’s use of wordplay contributes to this novel greatly because its the words Lionel uses that make this scene, and other scenes in this novel hilarious.


Siobhan McDonagh


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