Kiss And Tell Alain De Botton

1061 Words5 Pages
In an excerpt from the British novel, Kiss and Tell, Alain de Botton describes a young male narrator and his girlfriend, Isabel, in a theater where they coincidentally encounter Isabel’s parents. Through Isabel’s elaborate and detailed descriptions of her parents’ behavior and actions, De Botton reveals her comical embarrassment of the presence of her parents. In addition, by implementing dialogue containing unconstrained oversharing and by employing incongruous juxtapositions between the sophisticated setting and Isabel’s parents’ ridiculous actions, De Botton also establishes comedic overtones in the depiction of the universal situation of a child being teasingly humiliated by her parents. Isabel’s response to her parents’ presence and…show more content…
The theater sweated an “elegantly suited and scented audience” who gathered to witness the drama of a Spanish playwright named Lorca. The sophisticated attire of the audience alludes that the production shown in the theater is that of a high caliber, thus expecting an elevated sense of social grace from the attendees. However, despite the presence of such a group in the theater, Isabel’s father did not hesitate in standing up in the middle of this audience to “[make] the vigorous hand gestures of a man waving off a departing cruise ship” at his daughter. The metaphor comparing her father to a man wildly waving to a ship provides the audience with a comedic imagery of Isabel’s father’s exaggerated and ridiculous action. Isabel’s father’s frantic waving, juxtaposed with the graceful manners of the sophisticated audience, highlights the action’s humorous absurdity. Likewise, Isabel’s mother also behaves in a similar, comical manner. Despite being in front of “the presence of four hundred people in the auditorium,” she proceeded “to should ‘Isabel’ at top pitch and with the excitement of a woman recognizing a long-lost friend on the deck of an in-coming cruise ship.” De Botton utilized similar metaphors of an individual excitedly waving to a loved one aboard a ship in order to allow the audience to visualize Isabel’s parents’ actions. Furthermore, the metaphors portray both parent’s the ridiculous act of excitement as compared to the sophisticated crowd. The vast difference between the proper setting and Isabel’s parents’ absurd reactions establishes a humorous juxtaposition, contributing to the comic effect of De Botton’s
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