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Copy of The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen

A brief overview of a short story by Woody Allen.

Ryan Tharp

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Copy of The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen

By: Woody Allen The Kugelmass
Episode Most of Woody Allen’s characters reflect his Jewish heritage and his personality Précis Woody Allen Pessimistic and has a very Twain-esque sort of wit that is prevalent in many of his characters His characters often resemble himself
He has stared as the protagonist within many of his films When The Kugelmass Episode was written Allen had been through two divorces: reflected within the main character Woody Allen's Background Quotes "I am not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens." "Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage." "I shall walk through the valley of the shadow of death... In fact, now that I think of it, I shall run through the valley of the shadow of death, cos' you get out of the valley quicker that way." "Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats." How Does it
Compare? Schlemiel Character Yiddish word that refers to a stupid, awkward, or unlucky person Often find themselves as a victim of circumstance, usually by their own making New York is a recurring setting About Satire in
Contemporary Society Characters • –
He is introduced directly by the author after he is examined shortly
He wishes for more romance, however does nothing to try to relive that passion with his wife
Flat and Static Character
Experiences a significant event in his life, but does not change
Schlemiel Character
Bumbling and unlucky
Common in Jewish Literature Kugelmass Emma Bovary “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert.
Static and Flat
Like Kugelmass she receives no romance at home from her husband
Who is described as being in bed by ten while she is putting on dancing shoes
Entranced by Kugelmass's lifestyle and New York's myriad offerings The Great Persky Magician
Uses an old chinese box to transport characters into different works of literature
He is a static and flat character
Pertains more to the plot than to character development. Other Characters Daphne Kugelmass
Pudgy Woman
Suspects her husband is having an affair, but does not pursue validating her belief
Dr. Mandel
Mr. Kugelmass's analyst
Suggests to go beyond affair and discover underlying reason why Details About the Story Setting New York
Persky's apartment
Kugelmass's apartment
Persky uses a Chinese box to transport Kugelmass to Yonville, France
Setting of Madame Bovary
If the setting were to be changed it would cause no significant change in the story; the most integral part is the ability to change from place to place not the destinations.
20th to 21st century Point of View Third person limited
Author only gives the thoughts of Kugelmass
Direct look into thought process to understand actions Theme An easily accessible solution triggers aversion from an underlying issue.

Life’s perplexities cannot always be explained. Special Topics Kugelmass is the victim of circumstances in an odd world
Jewish humor and culture
Classical and modern literature
Colloquial humor is used to imitate aristocratic society Stereotypical Characters Kugelmass
Middle-aged, bald Jewish man
Sexual crisis
Stereotypical unattractive
Materialistic Jewish wife
Emma Bovary
Satirical imitation of a shallow, celebrity striving actress
The Great Persky
Gaudy magician makes a
Parody of Jewish speech
Cheap entertainers Style Serious situations are undermined by interjecting incongruous actions
Being transported into a fictional realm is reduced by the mundane diction
“badly lacquered, cheap looking chinese cabinet, ugly rhinestones” pg. 349
Colloquial expressions within romantic moments underscores the underlying nature of romance
Reasons behind Mr. Kugelmass’s obsession with wanting love
Each character’s personality is mocked and reduced to foolishness
Persky’s use of absurd language
Emma’s infatuation with the ugly Mr. Kugelmass because of desperation.
Author’s style of invoking humor makes story enthralling, enjoyable and well worth reading. Deadly Sins Pride
Emma possesses immense pride for her abilities in acting
Mr. Kugelmass's crisis unravels from infatuation and necessity of romance
Emma's Obsession with materialism
Kuglemass is weary of having a scandalous affair
Kuglemass lies to his wife repetitively Produced by: Tharp Studios In conjunction with Talia Incorporated, Daryon Triumverate, and Bartot Co. Plot Structure Narrative Hook Kugelmass’s unhappiness
Conflict: Introduction to pudgy wife, Daphne, and lack of romance within life
Expresses desire to have an affair Exposition Confides in therapist desire to experience an affair
Receives call from “The Great Persky” who assures him a solution exists Rising Action Kugelmass is presented with opportunity to transport himself into any book he wishes, thus, enabling him to solicit an affair with one of the characters.
Steps into an old Chinese cabinet and Persky enables him to embark on adventure into the book
Develops affair with Emma Bovary
Continually visits Persky- Affair develops and grows, altering synopsis of novel Climax Element of Surprise -> Kugelmass gets Persky to transport Emma Bovary back to New York with him
They spend a romantic weekend together
Conflict: Persky attempts to transport Emma back to France multiple times to no avail. Causes Kugelmass much agitation and worry
Persky and Kugelmass send Madame Bovary back into the book and Kugelmass swears he will never have an affair again. Falling Action Kugelmass returns to Persky desirous of another affair Resolution •Cabinet bursts into flames. Persky has a heart attack and dies.
Kugelmass is accidentally sent into a remedial Spanish book and spends the rest of his life being chased by the Spanish word “tener”. Conflicts Internal Conflicts:
• Man vs. Self:
Kugelmass is bored and wants to have excitement
He can only attain this happiness by having an affair
Even after being warned by Dr. Mandel, his analyst, he still pursues the affair
His conflict is not resolved because he yet again returns to Persky External Conflicts:
Man vs. Man:
Between Kugelmass and wife.
Not resolved- still resorts to the affair to help fill void within life
Unsatisfied with wife and lackluster romance

Man vs. Man:
Conflict between Kugelmass and Emma Bovary.
Their “love” turns out to be a huge mistake and source of tension for Kugelmass as Bovary becomes stuck in New York.
Conflict is resolved when Persky actually gets her back into the book Significant Quotes “Dr. Mandel shifted in his chair and said, “An affair will solve nothing. You’re so unrealistic. Your problems run much deeper.” (pg. 348) “No, I want romance. I want music. I want love and beauty.” (pg. 349) “He leaned against it and took a deep breath. In a few hours, he told himself, he would be back in Yonville again, back with his beloved.” (pg. 354). “I’ll never cheat again, I swear it.” (pg. 357). Kugelmass is a bald, Jewish, teacher at City College; he is tired of his wife and their lackluster romance. One day, he confides in his therapist that he wants to have an affair and experience some passion before he dies. Shortly after his appointment, Kugelmass receives a mysterious phone call from “The Great Persky” who promises to deal with his woes. Upon meeting with Persky, Kugelmass is presented with an opportunity to transport himself into any book he wishes, thus, enabling him to solicit an affair with one of the characters. After some bantering to decide which book he should choose, Kugelmass decides on Emma Bovary from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. He steps into an old Chinese cabinet and embarks on an adventure into the book. Kugelmass and Bovary strike up a relationship. Little do the two know that across the world the book is changing to add in the new, bald, Jewish character, which leaves the readers flabbergasted. The more time Kugelmass spends in the book the more he becomes detached from reality and his wife.

After some flirting with Bovary, he takes her back to present day New York to treat her to the wonders that it offers, but after trying to send her back to the book the machine breaks down. Several days go by when Bovary becomes irritated and demands to either go back to the book or get married. Persky is finally able to fix the machine and send Bovary back. Relieved, Kugelmass promises to never cheat again; three weeks later however he is back and wishes to go into “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Phillip Roth. As Persky tries to send Kugelmass into the book sparks fly and the apartment is set ablaze. Although the magician suffers a heart attack and dies, Kugelmass is transported into “Remedial Spanish” and not “Portnoy’s Complaint.” The End
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