As we can see, there are many funny moments between the pages 145 to 203. At certain point, I giggled when I read a passage because of how ridiculous it is. For example, in a scene where Tony and Lionel are confronting each other, Jonathan Lethem used humour to loosen the situation. As Lionel is at gunpoint, Tony tells Lionel that Frank had two personalities and he only knew the silly side of Frank. So, Lionel responded, “I suppose it was the smart Frank Minna who taught you to wave guns around” (184). For me, this sounded really sarcastic. Then, Lionel yelled, “Frankensmart” out of the blue (184). It was a serious situation and I wasn’t expecting to read that. We can see that Lionel was thinking about Frankstein when he vocalized this tic. The name “Frankstein” came from a novel written by Mary Shelley. In her book, Victor Frankenstein was the protagonist and was characterized as a really wise scientist. So, knowing that, I think that Lionel mingled the words Frankstein and smart together to give “Frankensmart”. This gave a sarcastic tone making the situation more funny than serious. Putting all of this together, I think that the humour technique that Jonathan Lethem used in this passage was wordplay. Another humoristic passage in this novel is the scene were Lionel got abducted by four men. These men were hilarious. They were lost and didn’t know what they were doing. It was four empty brain put together to yield a big empty brain. I felt that, for once, Lionel was the normal guy and these four individuals were the ridiculous guys. At a moment, one of the abductors uttered, “We’re supposed to scare guy, let’s do it” (150).Then, Lionel replied, “I am not so scared” (150). Brief, the method that Jonathan Lethem used in this passage was Straight man/ Funny man. The four abductors put together were the ridiculous, hilarious men and weirdly Lionel was the straight man. He was making them seem like fools. The author also used the description of the characters to give this passage some humour.


Ilyas Mohamed


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