Humor and Irony in British Literature
The banana atypical is a actual English affectionate of fiction and does not consistently settles bottomward in alternative civic literatures well. Certainly the English atypical attitude is arresting for the cardinal of banana novels amid its abstract from the assignment of Fielding, and Sterne and Smollett in the eighteenth century, through Jane Austen and Dickens in the nineteenth to Evelyn Waugh, Arnold Bennett and David Lodge in the twentieth.
Even novelists whose primary ambition is not to address funny novels such as George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and E. M. Forster accept scenes in their fiction which accomplish us beam aloud. In this assignment we will ascertain on the archetype of arcane texts of British abstract the angle of amusement and irony both of which are based on the banana element.
Comedy in fiction would arise to accept two primary sources, admitting they are carefully connected: bearings (which entails actualization – a bearings that is banana for one actualization wouldn’t necessarily be so for another) and style.
Both abased aloft timing, that is to say, the adjustment in which the words, and the advice they carry, are arranged. The assumption can be illustrated by a distinct book from Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall. At the alpha of the novel, the shy, backward hero, Paul Pennyfeather, an Oxford undergraduate, is bald of his trousers by a affair of bashed aloof hearties, and with aberrant abuse is beatific bottomward from the University for blue behavior.
The aboriginal affiliate concludes: “God abuse and bang them all to hell,” and Paul Pennyfeather meekly to himself as he collection to the station, and again he acquainted rather ashamed, because he rarely swore. (Waugh, 1929) We beam at this because of the delayed actualization of the chat “meekly”: what appears, as the book begins, to be a long-overdue access of angelic acrimony by the victimized hero turns out to be no such affair but a added exemplification of his bashfulness and passiveness.
Lucky Jim of Kingsley Amis exhibits all backdrop of banana fiction in a awful able form. As a acting abettor academician at a arena university, Jim Dixon is absolutely abased for the constancy of his application on his absent professor’s patronage, which itself requires that Jim should authenticate his able adequacy by publishing a bookish article. Jim despises both his assistant and the rituals of bookish scholarship, but cannot allow to say so.
His acerbity is accordingly interiorized, sometimes in fantasies of violence: “to tie Welch up in his armchair and exhausted him about the arch and amateur with a canteen until he appear why, afterwards actuality French himself, he’d accustomed his sons French names” (Amis) and at the alternative times, as here, in abusive brainy annotation aloft the behavior, discourses and institutional codes which abuse him. The actualization of Lucky Jim is abounding of little surprises, abilities and reversals which satirically deconstruct cliches. Jim’s disability is physically abridged by his actuality a commuter in Welch’s car, and a abandoned victim of his alarming driving.
The blah and allegedly abounding book “Dixon looked out of the window at the fields wheeling past, ablaze blooming afterwards a wet April” (Amis) in actuality proves to accept a function. Attractive from the aforementioned window moments later, Jim is abashed to acquisition “a man’s face staring in his from about nine inches away” Abruptness is accumulated with acquiescence to Welch’s incompetence. “The face, which abounding with anxiety as he gazed, belonged to the disciplinarian of a van which Welch had adopted to canyon on a aciculate angle amid two bean walls.
” (Amis) A apathetic motion aftereffect is created by the comfortable attention of the language: “about nine inches away”, “filled with alarm”, “had adopted to pass” allegory comically with the acceleration with which the approaching blow approaches. The clairvoyant is not told anon what is happening, but fabricated to infer it, re-enacting the character’s abruptness and alarm. Addition stylistic accessory based on amusing aftereffect it creates is irony. Irony consists in adage the adverse of what you beggarly or agreeable an estimation altered from the apparent acceptation of your words. Unlike alternative abstracts of accent – metaphor, simile, metonymy, adumbration etc.
– irony is not acclaimed from accurate account by any abnormality of exact form. An acrid account is accustomed as such in the act of interpretation. When, for example, the authorial narrator of Pride and Prejudice says “It is a accuracy universally acknowledged, that a distinct man in control of a fortune, allegation be in appetite of a wife,” (Austen, Affiliate I) the reader, alerted by the apocryphal argumentation of the hypothesis about distinct men with fortunes, interprets the “universal” generalization as an acrid animadversion on a accurate amusing accumulation bedeviled with matchmaking.
The aforementioned aphorism applies to activity in narrative. When the clairvoyant is fabricated acquainted of a alterity amid the facts of a bearings and the characters’ compassionate of it, an aftereffect alleged “dramatic irony” is generated. (Lodge, 179) Arnold Bennett in his The Old Wives’ Tale employs two altered methods to put his characters’ behavior in an acrid perspective. Sophia, the admirable amorous but amateur babe of a draper in the Potteries, is abundantly addled by Gerald Scales, a handsome bartering adventurer who has affiliated a baby fortune, to elope with him.
The embrace declared in the access beneath is their aboriginal in the aloofness of their London lodgings. Her face, appearance so abutting that he could see the about ephemeral bottomward on those fruit-like cheeks, was astonishingly beautiful; …[and] he could feel the abstruse adherence of her anatomy ascendance to him. She was actual hardly taller than her lover; but somehow she afraid from him, her anatomy arced backwards, and her bust apprenticed adjoin his, so that instead of attractive up at her boring he looked bottomward at it. He adopted that; altogether ample admitting he was, his ability was a aerial point with him.
(Bennett, 278) What should be a moment of amative rapture and affecting accord is appear as the concrete affiliation of two bodies whose thoughts are active on absolutely altered tacks. Gerald in actuality intends to abduct Sophia, admitting in the accident he lacks the accord to backpack out his plan. Alike in this embrace he is at aboriginal afraid and tentative, “perceiving that her ardour was above his. ” (Bennett, 278) But as the affectionate acquaintance continues he becomes added assured and masterful: “His fears slipped away; he began to be actual annoyed with himself” (Bennett, 278).
There is apparently a animal pun hidden in “His alcohol rose by the boost of his senses”, for Bennett frequently hinted in this appearance at things he dared not call explicitly. Gerald animal activation has annihilation to do with love, or alike lust. It is a activity of his vanity and self-esteem. “Something in him had affected her to lay her bashfulness on the chantry of his desire”. Like “the abstruse adherence of her anatomy ascendance to him” (Bennett, 279) earlier, this aureate allegory mocks the conceited anticipation it expresses.
The use of the chat “altar” carries an added acrid allegation back at this point Gerald has no ambition of arch Sophia to the chantry of marriage. Up to this point, Bennett keeps to Gerald’s point of view, and uses the affectionate of accent adapted to that perspective, appropriately implying an acrid appraisal of Gerald’s character. “So he kissed her yet added ardently, and with the aboriginal blow of a victor’s condescension; and her afire acknowledgment added than adequate the aplomb which he had been losing.
” (Bennett, 279) The description of his timidity, vanity and abundance – so actual altered from what he care to be activity in this bearings is abundant to adjudge him in reader’s eyes. In the abutting branch Bennett uses the assemblage of the all-seeing advancing columnist to about-face to Sophia’s point of view, and to animadversion absolutely on her misconceptions, abacus to the layers of irony in the scene. Sophia’s words are added admirable than Gerald’s, but her words, “I’ve got no on but you now” , are partly affected to attach him to her.
This alone reveals her naivety, however. “She absurd in her benightedness that the announcement of this affect would amuse him. She was not acquainted that a man is usually rather algid by it, because it proves to him that the alternative is cerebration about his responsibilities and not about his privileges. … [He] smiled vaguely. ” (Bennett, 279) As the “burning” Sophia utters this affect in a “melting” voice, Gerald is “chilled” by the admonition of his responsibilities.
He responds with non-committal smile, which the beguiled Sophia finds charming, but which, the narrator assures us, was an basis of his blunder and a augury of disillusionment to come: “A beneath innocent babe than Sophia ability accept divined from that ambrosial half-feminine smile that she could do annihilation with Gerald except await on him. But Sophia had to learn. ” (Bennett, 279) The clairvoyant is supplied with ability that helps to feel benevolence for Sophia and antipathy for Gerald. This blazon of irony leaves us with little assignment of inference or estimation to do; on the contrary, we are the acquiescent recipients of the author’s wisdom.
To achieve it is all-important to agenda the capital aberration amid amusement and irony. These two accessories while both based on banana aspect administer altered approaches to their object. Irony the funny article is hidden above the affectation of seriousness, and the negative, cheeky attitude to the article is expressed. The altered is humor, area the austere affair is hidden above the affectation of antic and the attitude to the article of derision is predominantly positive. Works Cited List: Amis, Kinsley. Lucky Jim. London: Gollancz, 1954.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Reissue edition, Bantam Classics, 1983. Bennett, Arnold. The Old Wives’ Tale. New York Hodder & Stoughton, 1909. Carens, James F. , The Satiric Art of Evelyn Waugh. Seattle and London, University of Washington Press, 1966. Lodge, David & Wood, Nigel Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader. Harlow: Pearson, 2000 Nilsen, Don L. F. Amusement in Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century British Literature. A Reference Guide, 1998. Waugh, Evelyn. Decline and Fall. London: Chapman & Hall, 1928.
Order a unique copy of this paper