Analysis Laughing Sam

Topics: Laughter, Death from laughter, Gelotology Pages: 4 (1685 words) Published: January 2, 2014
This story revolves around a young boy named Sam who has this habit of laughing. He laughs at everything even though the time is not right. He got a job as a newsboy of Evening Herald. At first everyone likes to tease him around because he always laughs and they find it amusing but after a while they started to get irritated and stay away from him. He tried to fit in and mingle more but he was ignored for his unusual habit. One day, he was laughing about a tragic incident while selling the newspaper and the narrator finally talked to him and he found out that Sam wasn’t actually laughing, he was crying. He was doing it by laughing. This revelation made the narrator cried. Then the story ends with the narrator read the newspaper with Sam as the headline on it. He was killed in an elevator accident. He even died wrongly.

As we read through the story, we noticed that the writer did not give out a specific time period of when this story happened nor the location taken place but from the hints in the story, we do know that the story happened somewhere around 1900s’ when poverty was common and even a few nickels mean the world to them. It was also the time when there’s still war as it was a headline on Evening Herald. The location of where this story took place remains unknown as Saroyan also did not give the specific place setting for this story. What we can retrieved from this story is that this story took place somewhere in a small town because in the story the new newsboys are supposed to walk all over the town which means the town is small enough for a child to walk all over it while selling newspapers. In my opinion, Saroyan intentionally did not give out the time and place settings to signify that this can happen anywhere and anytime. A child who looked like he’s okay on the outside but deep inside he’s suffering and this happens a lot in today’s time nevertheless the location. The society in this story is also being judgmental as they did not...
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