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Using Humor Devices in Literature

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Miranda Fischer

on 9 July 2014

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Transcript of Using Humor Devices in Literature

Using Humor Devices in Literature
By Miranda Fischer
Verbal Irony
Situational Irony
Dramatic Irony
Comic Strip
Verbal Irony is a device in which what one means does not match with what one says. This is a suiting example because the child perceives (well, he really uses it as an easy way out of the assignment) the instructions as meaning "Explain Newton's First Law of Motion in your own words (language)." instead of what it was meant to be interpreted as: "Explain Newton's First Law of Motion in your own words (meaning, explain it as you interpret it)."
Whether it is Funny or Not
I would consider the device to be funny in this comic strip because the child tries to twist the words so that he does not have to complete the assignment with much effort, in which the childishness is quite hilarious.
Sarcasm is similar to verbal irony, but sarcasm's goal is to harm or insult. This is demonstrated well in this example. The author of the article is being sarcastic when saying that it is great that an animal has become extinct (since most people would agree that is an awful event), as it can seen by their exaggeration on how wonderful it is that they have been killed off, and his use of vocabulary.
N e w s
A r t i c l e
Whether it is Funny or Not
I find the way the device is used in this article to be sad yet funny. Although the article is about the extinction of the Black Rhino, and that is a disappointing occurrence, the author's sarcasm lightens the situation slightly, which might have been a slight motivation for them.
Situational irony can be defined as a device in which what one expects to happen does not actually occur. This is a pretty good example of that because one would not expect that when you have so much water around yourself, you would not be able to drink any of it, as it is quoted from the poem.
Whether it is Funny or Not
I find the device to be used in a comical way in this example because you can sense the sort of desperation the author is trying to ensue into these words. The author is trying make the speaker of the poem seem as though he is quite thirsty but is taunted with a relieving prospect that he cannot attain, which is sad but funny at the same time, from my perspective.
P o e m
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Dramatic Irony is known as a device in drama (a play or film) in which the audience knows something that the audience does not. In this example, the deaf girl does not realize that she, just like anyone else, can do anything they set their minds to, even if you have something that seems to inhibit your path. The audience knows that, with the girls' determination, she will be able to play the violin as long as she sets her mind to it.
Whether it is Funny or Not
I believe this device is funny in a way that is not traditional, in this example at least. The beauty and joy of this girl's passion for playing the violin makes you almost want to laugh with happiness that she accomplished her dream. Plus, it is funny that even though most people deemed she would never succeed in her goal, with the advice and motivation from a friend, she proved them all wrong.
P o e m
Hyperbole is known as a device that uses exaggeration for emphasis. This is an excellent example, as nearly all of the sentences contain a hyperbole. Quite obviously, no human literally has a house the size of a postage stamp or a mouth as big as a river, but the words are used well to emphasis the significance of the point you are trying to get across.
Whether it is Funny or Not
The device is used in a hilarious way for this poem. It is really amusing to imagine such a large, hungry man, living in such a tiny home, even if it were possible.
P o e m
An understatement can be classified as a figure of speech in which the words written are less than what a writer or speaker means; the opposite of a hyperbole or exaggeration. In this case we have a Fiftieth Anniversary Poem in which the author congratulates the couple on being married such a long time. When they say "Fifty years is quite a while", that is definitely an understatement, as fifty years is a very long time to be married.
Whether It is Funny or Not
I found that the humor device was used in a way that can be considered comical. The reader (and author I am sure) can definitely agree that fifty years is a while, which might provoke a laugh at how true the comment is, as well as how much of an understatement it is.
P o e m
A Malapropism is a humorous misuse of words - usually confusing similar-sounding words. In this case, the example is Act 2, Scene 4 in Romeo and Juliet, where the nurse confuses a word in her comment to Romeo. Instead of saying she wishes some"conference" with Romeo, she exclaims that she wishes some "confidence" with (or in) Romeo.
Whether it is Funny or Not
I find the way the device is used in this example to be quite amusing. Since the Nurse misused her words, the reaction from Romeo and his companions differentiates as well. They believe that the Nurse instead wishes to get to know Romeo better (or perhaps they believe Juliet does), instead of merely wishing to speak with him.
S o n g
A Pun is a play on words based on the similarity of sound between two words with different meanings. In this case, we have a line of lyrics in a song that says "I've been to the dentist a thousand times, so I know the drill". This can mean two different things. Drill can mean that the author is aware of the routine, or that they are familiar with the mechanical device that a dentist uses, called a drill.
Whether it is Funny or Not
I find that the device is used in a very humorous way in this example. Not only is it funny because the reader can easily catch on to the pun that the author made, it is also amusing because the author proclaims such familiarity with going to the dentist. Plus, when the artist says he has been to the dentist's office "a thousand times" the exaggeration is also entertaining, as this statement would often be perceived as outrageous and unrealistic.
P o e m
An Oxymoron is a contradictory combination of words. One of the examples in this poem by John Donne is when the author says "O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches!". Now, the reason this is an oxymoron is because society, in most cases, would agree that having an abundance of something would not be "miserable" and that when one has riches, it would not make them "beggarly".
Whether it is Funny or Not
The device appears to be used in a way I would consider witty. The author appears so distraught about something that many people would agree is actually a pleasant prospect, which I believe most people would agree is quite funny.
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