Humor In Mark Twain's Cannibalism In The Cars

Decent Essays

In Mark Twain’s short story, “Cannibalism in the Cars”, he utilizes many methods in which he depicts humor in an intricate fashion that will bid well to readers. The strategies Twain uses within this story can be explained in another one of his other writing pieces called “How to Tell a Story”, in which Twain explains how great of an impact a humorous story holds and how the narrator must gradually lead his audience throughout the tale. In “Cannibalism in the Cars”, Mark Twain makes use of such devices as irony, paradox, and satire to create a humorous effect throughout the passages. First off, one of the devices Twain utilizes in order to introduce the reader to the absurdity of the story is irony. Throughout of the story, irony is conveyed through the procedure where the men within Twain’s short story decide upon who will be eaten, which turns …show more content…

Through the dialogue of the characters in which one of the men may “move that the nominations now close, and that the House proceed to an election by ballot” (Twain), such terminology may allude to the workings within Congress. As the story progresses, there are even more allusions as “On the first ballot—there was a tie, half the members favoring one candidate on account of his youth, and half favoring the other on account of his superior size” (Twain). The ludicrousness of portraying cannibals acting as politicians and politicians acting as cannibals will then add a comical effect. Therefore, Twain’s addition of satire adds to the humor of the story. In conclusion, throughout “Cannibalism in the Cars”, the devices of irony, paradoxes, and satire contribute to the humor of the story. Whether the devices were utilized in subtlety, or were included in a blatant form, Twain cleverly structures his story in which readers are steadily walked through and will eventually come to find a truly humorous

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