Humor In Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illumination

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A Humorous Sad Story
“"Humor is the only truthful way to tell a sad story" (53). From incorrect English grammar, unusual hilarious nicknames, and getting a laugh out of tragedy, the novel Everything Is Illuminated uses humor to help keep a balance between emotions and gives a realistic life-like feeling to tragedies. Jonathan Safran Foer, gives humor the role to tell a sad story by taking the seriousness out of a situation, giving the story relief, and using it as a mechanism for one to cope.
Many question if humor should be used when discussing serious topics such as rape, The Holocaust, and offensive language. By taking away the seriousness out of these topics through humor, allows readers to take their focus away from the negativity to
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All of these touchy subjects use humor as a mechanism to cope, allowing humor to tell a sad story. A prominent example in the story was Brod. “[Brod] had to satisfy herself with the idea of love—loving the loving of things whose existence she didn't care at all about. Love itself became the object of her love” (80). She had experienced many life difficulties and hardships which contributed to her hopelessness of finding and having love. “Brod's life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her. But there was no release...” (79). Brod’s inability to find love contains touchy matter because of its ability to be easily relatable for many readers. Safran Foer brings the reader in by creating a very emotional subject, then aids the sadness with a defense mechanism through humor. His input of the Kolker brings humor into the novel, at the same time granting readers with comfort, causing them to think the subject is harmless and releases tension while deepening the underlying mood of crisis. Even through Brod’s difficulties, humor is used to soften the severity of the scenario. “Brod, isn’t it strange how some mathematical phrases can have a lot on one side and just a little on the other? Brod, you’re making that face again, the one like the man who plays that musical instrument that is all wound up in a big coil” (122). Kolker brings many jokes to Brod’s life to tell her sad story. Without the help of humor, it would be just another sad story. “I used to think that humor was the only way to appreciate how wonderful and terrible the world is, to celebrate how big life is… But now I think the opposite. Humor is a way of shrinking from that wonderful and terrible
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