A Sense of Humor Essay

A Sense of Humor Essay

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Novelist and grocer Evan Kingston states that, “Humour is a tool, like characterization or dialogue, and its foolhardly for any writer to rise to the impossible task of communicating the unspeakable with less than all”. In literature to use humour in a narrative is often justified along the lines of a comedic structure. It is a genre that can be mixed and connected with more than one type of literary work. In Canadian literature, I have noticed that works, like King and Compton, often illustrate social issues regarding gender, oppression and multiculturalism. We normally sense the of rage and empathy that the author tries to convey but I find that humor can portray these themes in a way that can easily interest the reader. In literary works like Thomas King’s short story “Borders” and Wayde Compton’s poem “Where Heaven Lies”, these works prove that humour can project these social issues in a manner that is just as effective as anger can. Kingston also notes that humor in literature is not only a tool but it is also a sense. We can consider it as a “sense of humor”— where it engages in all the senses: making the story come to life by stimulating every input the reader has (Kingston). Humour has the ability to not only draw in and fascinate people, but it allows readers to have a relatable connection to the literary works. It parodies stereotypes and humor allows us to consider the idea of identity and freedom in these kinds of work. Kingston’s connection with humor as both a tool and a sense is exemplified in Compton’s poem and King’s short story plays with the readers senses and draws them into these works and thus makes it relatable.
Since humour in these literary works allows us to feel a sense of commonality, we feel that ...


... middle of paper ...


...ain a better understanding on the topic of the oppressed and historical references of the multicultural. If it is through the voice of a child or the voice of an African woman, the reader of a poet or a comedic short story provides a different perspective and therefore allows us to sympathize with them. I find that humor has the ability to draw people of all ages into a narrative because it deals with the senses and plunges us into a world that though may be light and comedic, has strong political undertones.



Works Cited

Kingston, Evan. "Humor’s Uses In Literature." The Oldest Joke in the World . N.p., 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .
King, Thomas. “Borders.” Handout. The University of Western. London, ON. N.d. Print.
Compton, Wayde. “Where Heaven Lies.” Handout. The University of Western. London, ON. N.d. Print.

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