Motherless Brooklyn Humor blog


Jonathan Lethem uses humour throughout the novel and tries to integrate it smoothly, in places that it can change the mood of the scene quickly and also because Tourette syndrome can have its humour at times.  He uses humour to also lighten the mood but also make the reader feel how he Lionel or Minna felt during that specific scene. On page 145, Lionel get kidnapped by 4 men all wearing blue suits, or at least they tried to kidnap him; “They looked like a band that played at weddings”.  (Lethem 145) In this scene the four men kidnapped Lionel and took him for a drive in there rental car. Their attempt to try and kidnap Lionel was a fail because it ended up that they weren’t professional kidnappers or even experience at least. Lionel wasn’t scared or even a slightest scared about the situation and he wasn’t even mistreated and ended up leaving him in the car alone and Lionel simply went back home like nothing happen. This scene had humour in it because it reminded me of a scene of Deadpool because it wasn’t scary for Lionel at all but it was mostly humoristic because of the way the four men spoke to each other.  “Why not just drive in circles?”(Lethem 145) You are trying to kidnap someone and they just want to drive it circles… How does that make sense?  When Lionel asks the four men what are they trying to do him about three times and they always said “trying to scare you”.(Lethem 146) Trying to scare you by arguing with the each other work out to well therefore Lionel wasn’t scared at all and it made it funny and also made the  mood of the scene different. The characters personality changed the whole outcome of the scene because it could have been a scary scene if Lionel actually got kidnapped and got tortured or something along those lines.  Lastly to show addition to why this scene was humoristic, Lionel receives a random call from Loomis just to tell a riddle that was actually funny but made the men awkward in the car.

The second example of humour was on pages 186 and 187 when Toy was talking to the homicide cop. This scene was stereotypical because Tiny being an Italian was insulting the African American’s and wasn’t treating them with respect. “Not so many murders over here eh Chief?”…”Not so many Niggers on this side of Flatbush, that what you’re trying to say?. (Lethem 187) Italians in my experience are racist and this scene demonstrated exactly how some Italians react towards the African American’s.


Alexander-Emilio Vincelli


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