The Kugelmass Episode

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Connie Wilson-Prewitt
Mr. Pyda
MWF 10-10:50
3/8/13

In the story The Kugelmass Episode, Woody Allen takes the reader on an exciting journey through time and literature that keeps you begging for more. Professor Kugelmass is a middle-aged teacher at City College in New York City. He seems to be unfulfilled and bored with his life as a whole. The real world is far too drab for his liking and so he sets out to change his life but ultimately ends up turning his world upside down. Allen uses colorful dialogue to first disconnect the reader from the main character, bring irony and humor to the story, and use that humor to teach the reader a thing or two about being satisfied and happy with what you have.

Kugelmass has been married twice. His marriages seem to have taken a toll on him and he also seems to be right smack in the thick of a midlife crisis.. He is no longer satisfied with his wife and decides to have an affair with the one and only Madame Bovary. Kugelmass says of his wife, “Who suspected she’d let herself go and swell up like a beach ball?” Allen obviously did not want the reader to feel sad or sorry for the main character. He so effortlessly creates a distance between the reader and Kugelmass so that the reader may be able to laugh at this man throughout the entire story without thinking twice. The first dialogue in this story is Kugelmass belittling his wife and then describing the type of woman he thinks he needs. It is doubtful that there are too many readers that would be rooting for this character after reading the first few paragraphs. If the character of Kugelmass had been a handsome honest man that respected his wife instead of bad mouthed her, the reader may have had a hard time accepting and laughing at this mans many mishaps throughout the story.

Humor and irony are the backbone of this work. Without the humor that Allen brings to the table, this story is just a pathetic unrealistic look at how a character’s plan to have an...
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