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Literature in English, North America

Literary criticism

All Student Theses

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What Is Really Funny: Humor Ahead Of Its Time In The Twentieth Century American Novel, Timothy Baffoe Oct 2016

What Is Really Funny: Humor Ahead Of Its Time In The Twentieth Century American Novel, Timothy Baffoe

All Student Theses

This thesis sets out to examine a specific function that humor has played in twentieth century American literature and that is reflective of American culture today—that being a constant testing of boundaries of who and what are allowed to be considered funny. Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) gives readers a woman whose struggle for a Black female voice lands her on an informal standup comedy stage. Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov walks a tightrope of taboo subject matter, encouraging readers to appropriately—though maybe uncomfortably—laugh at the inappropriate, and this decades before such ...