Dumas: A Humorist Analysis

Good Essays
People in today’s society have adopted humor and comedies into their everyday lives, whether it’d be from shows such as Saturday Night Live or from a cartoon column in the newspaper. The success of these humorous selections comes from the entertainment value as well as the sheer value of laughter. Through these positive, light-hearted responses, viewers of humorous programs associate the authors of these comedies with harmless, beneficial motivations. Stephen Colbert relayed his thoughts during an interview, saying, “You can’t laugh and be afraid at the same time.” Thus, de Botton’s view on the role of humorists is correct as it identifies humorists as effective messengers. Not only is de Botton correct in that he acknowledges …show more content…
Everything comes with its natural imperfections, and humans, with their desire to make everything optimal, often judge or push for change. With this in mind, oftentimes, people must withhold these thoughts as they may come off as rude or even threatening. For example, in “The ‘F Word’” by Dumas, Dumas criticizes Americans and their lack of respect for other cultures and in his case, other cultures’ names. With such a critical message directed at his primary audience members, Americans, the readers would take offense and disregard much of what Dumas had to say. This is where the role of humorists emerge. As De Botton identifies, humorists can intervene when there are messages that cannot be stated directly. In the case of Dumas, because he incorporated a vast amount of humor, he effectively conveys his message while not offending his audience. Because his satirical style of writing in the piece, the audience members were able to see their own …show more content…
By visually depicting wrong situations, mainly in a satirical manner, cartoonists can use imagery in order to convey their message. Another commonly used but effective rhetorical strategy that especially cartoonists can make use of is hyperbole. For example, in “The Great GAPsby Society,” a cartoon commenting on the increasing wage gap, Jeff Parker illustrates a literal increasing chasm between an exaggerated stereotypical rich man and a worker. While the image itself is humorous as it is in fact a cartoon, the message it illustrates is much more impactful as Parker sarcastically exaggerates the difference between the two groups through the dialogue. The characteristics of a satire that the cartoonist utilizes, in this case hyperbole and imagery, physically illustrate a irrefutable problem in society, and only cartoonists are able to display certain situations in such an exaggerated yet effective

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Comedy, unlike other forms of speaking allows for very unique perspective into our world and times. Whether it 's to criticize or to praise, tackling topics with humor is a great way of showing things for what they are or what they should be. Comedy is also amazing exaggeration, taking an idea and emphasizing what the speaker wants to tell the world. This makes humor a great way of sharing ideas, as comedy makes us feel good and thus we are drawn to you and what you have to…

    • 830 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Humor Influence

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Although the Joker is a well-known villain, people still will laugh at this because they can accept this kind of offense. As Peter McGraw and Joel Warner state in “The Humor Code, Entry 1: What Exactly Makes Something Funny?,” humor “arises when something seems wrong or threatening, but is simultaneously OK or safe” (133). Such acceptable violations can make the joke much funnier while people will like it at the same…

    • 959 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In performing in front of a live audience, Carlin had to be skilled in utilizing devices of satire to be funny. In his arsenal of jokes, he tends to make sarcastic quips, as well as over-exaggerates for effect. For example, in his “"You Have No Rights" segment, he satirizes the American idea of having human rights. He criticizes this concept not only by claiming that rights aren’t real, but that “they’re a cute idea” (n.p). He had even stated his social contempt in his special by going as far as saying that “all we've ever had in this country is a bill of temporary privileges” (n.p).…

    • 913 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mike E. Winfield’s brilliance as a comedian is depicted by his ability to reconcile with the audience through his perfected balance of truth and surprise. His exposition of his inner desires followed by his truthful insights makes him one of the greats. Ultimately, his humorous jokes allow people to sympathize with his actions, and more importantly, sympathize with one…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Slapstick Humor

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Sarcastic humor is usually a witty response to an action or statement that is considered stupid or wrong; it is used with the intention to hurt feelings. Many American comedians use sarcasm in their humor; two major comedians that were dubbed the ‘King and Queen of Sarcasm’ are Bill Murry and the late Joan Rivers (Trott, 2014); because they continuously used sarcasm in their ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Television’ shows. Both slapstick and sarcasm are clear examples of humor. American humor can sometimes be more direct humor in order to be understood by the size and demographic of the large, American population as well as more censored and less dry as to not offend…

    • 1710 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Voltaire was successfully able to veil the truth of what he believed was absurd in the humorous plight of the main character Candide. He vocalized the thoughts of many at the time of rather unstable France. In these examples, we see humorists who have made it their chief aim to jokingly state their thoughts, which consist of a hidden truth, and in turn assume a vital role in society as stating things that most could not or would not say. These humorists do play an important role in our culture, along with other humorists, who purely want to make people…

    • 658 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Perhaps it is both. Every one has their own definition of what they find to be humorous. Humor can be found in every culture and people of all ages enjoy a good laugh. Humor influences our choices in everything from movies to a person’s choice in friends. Research has even found that humor is beneficial to our health and that laughing can reduce people’s emotional and physical pain.…

    • 1024 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    All e this adds up to be a humorous piece that anyone can laugh at. Barry’s piece can be appreciated by both genders equally because men can be mocked without consequence, and women like to point out all of the mistakes men make. Satire is probably the easiest aspect in humor to accomplish because it is easy to point out anybody’s flaws and turn them into segments of humor. Callman does a very good job of mocking the personality of her character selfie. The personification of Selfie was quite stereotypical, but accurate because of the type of language used in Selfie’s speech (pages).…

    • 781 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Keanu Johnson Mrs. Frey AP Language and Composition 13 March 2018 That is the Joke. Humor takes the edge of off troubling ideas so that they can be discussed, but a good humorist requires a certain level of technique for their jokes to land. Comedians are special in their use of this skill, as without such abilities the ideas they discuss would be uncouth and even horrific. Humor lies in execution, and the main bastion between a harsh satire and an angry audience member is the wit and delivery of the jester. Author Alain de Botton insists on the social vitality of humorists, and this implies a degree of responsibility for every able comedian to use their skills to their fullest ability.…

    • 1267 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The reason behind this desire are obvious; humor often comes with a better mood. Humor is about fun and making new light of a situation. A bundle of research suggests that humor is vital to unity, creativeness and happiness. According to the online Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, “humor” means “that quality which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous” (“Humor”). When people think of humor, they relate it to someone or something that was intended to be amusing or comical.…

    • 820 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics