Satire In 'The Kugelmass Episode'

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George Meredith stated, “The test of true comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter.” This quote not only applies to the novel as a whole, but to Kugelmass’s fictional life in general. “The Kugelmass Episode” by Woody Allen is centered on an unhappy, middle-aged married man. Kugelmass is in a miserable marriage and seeks advice from his analyst, Dr. Mandel. He is bored with his wife, a heavy set woman, so he decides to have an affair. Dr. Mandel disagrees and tells him, “There is no overnight cure.” He then explains that he is “only an analyst, not a magician.” Disregarding this, he tracks down a magician who can help solve his problem. The Great Persky has fashioned a machine that can transport Kugelmass into fictional novels. …show more content…
There are both humor of Jewish culture, classical, and modern literature. Allen uses uncultured humor to satire higher art. The novel is written as a farce, a comedy that uses word play, misdirection, and impossible situations to create humor. Along with being a farce, the story is also a satire. A satire is a comedy that criticizes character flaws and social traditions. Kagelmass is a emblematic man going through a midlife crisis and instead of seeking meaning and improvement for his life, he seeks an escape to satisfy his …show more content…
The best twist of irony, and perhaps funniest, is at the end. After Emma is returned to her novel, Kugelmass tells Persky he has learned his lesson and will never cheat again. However, weeks later, Kugelmass is knocking on Persky’s door looking for another affair. Against Persky’s warnings, Kugelmass asks to be placed into Portnoy’s Complaint. The machine explodes, killing Perskey. Unaware of the tragedy, Kugelmass belives he is on his way to his desired novel. He soon finds out that the machine had relocated him into a remedial Spanish textbook. The best example of dramatic irony is partly through Kugelmass’s journey through the Spanish textbook. Kugelmass is trapped inside the textbook being chased by the verb “tener”, which satirically translates into “to have”.
The humor kicks in right at the end. Kugelmass is determined to have an affair with Madame Bovary, when ironically the “to have” verb is determined to have him. The reader is forced to laugh out loud at the ironic twist. This twist is an example of situational irony, because the end was definitely not what Kugelmass expected. The ending of the novel is especially effective in George Meredith’s

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