Creating Humor

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Peyton Ryan
English I - 2nd
August 11th, 2014
Creating Humor
How is humor created? Humor is the quality that makes something laughable or amusing. Guy de Maupassant creates humor in the short story “An Uncomfortable Bed”. Maupassant creates humor by using the Relief Theory, the Superiority Theory, and situational irony.

The author uses the Relief Theory to create humor. The Relief Theory is when an author builds up suspense then relieves it with a well-placed joke. The author writes, “the dismayed valet… had tripped over this obstacle in the middle of the floor, and fallen on his stomach, spilling… my breakfast over my face” (Maupassant 2). The reader suspects a prank but instead gets the humor of the narrator getting breakfast spilled on him.

In addition to The Relief Theory, the author also uses the Superiority Theory. The Superiority Theory is when humor is found in someone else’s mistakes or stupidity. “I was awakened with a start by the fall of a heavy body tumbling right on top of my own body…” (Maupassant 2). The humor is in the narrators misfortune of having someone fall on him.

Maupassant also uses situational irony to create humor. Situational irony is when something happens that the reader doesn’t expect. “The precautions I had taken…only brought about the interlude I had been striving to avoid” (Maupassant 2). The humor is the narrator had taken precautions to prevent a prank but instead caused the pranks upon himself.

The use of the Relief Theory, the Superiority Theory, and situational irony created humor. The mixture of the building and relief of tension, humility, and the unexpected caused this story to be enjoyably funny for a reader. This is humor.

Works cited
Cited sources go here in alphabetical order.
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