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An Evaluation of The Thurber Carnival Essay

Project id 1012096
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 2976
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An Evaluation of The Thurber Carnival The Fables for Our Period within Thurber's The Thurber Carnival are, for me, particularly cases of a writer effectively 'breaking frames' to be able to generate humor and satire. In this article I will explore the primary strategies Thurber uses to make humor and satire in the fables "The Shrike and the Chipmunks" and "The Unicorn in the Garden"2. Though firstly, what do After all by the 'broken framework'? That is a reference to the theory that the violation of our 'frames of reference', and the reputation of the incongruity due to it, may be the basic component of humour. If the incongruity must be explained, the humour will be lost. Kant expresses this notion when he says "Laughter can be an affection due to a strained expectation being suddenly reduced to nothing"3. Thurber violates a number of different types of expectation in his tries to generate satire and humour. These range between expectation of the guidelines of other and fable literature, to expectation of characterisation, and expectation of the familiar saying. "The Shrike and the Chipmunks", is and foremost a parody of the original fable first. It has all of the traditional ingredients: the anthropomorphised Chipmunks, corresponding with stereotyped human characters, the building of suspense over a perceived right and wrong kind of behaviour, a corresponding climax, and a moral at the ultimate end. Anthropomorphism is a common technique of humour. Umberto Eco clarifies that this is to ensure that the target audience can laugh at the 'broken body', without the distress of empathy with the framework breaker. "It really is because of this that the animalisation of the comic hero is indeed important"4. But quite out of this use apart, Thur...

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