How Does Bill Bryson Use Humour to Entertain His Reader?

Topics: Irony, Comedy, Sarcasm Pages: 4 (1596 words) Published: December 28, 2011
How does Bill Bryson use humour to entertain his reader?

‘Notes from a Small Island’, written by Bill Bryson is a reflective travel journal comparing Bryon’s past views and opinions of Britain, his expectations and thus the reality of what he discovers it to have become. Bryson uses satire, humour, irony and sarcasm to generate a pace and lucid flow within his writing, and for the reader this can be thoroughly captivating and entertaining. Immediately as the book opens, Bryson establishes an informal and incredibly comic register. We are readily exposed to his frequent use of each cities’ semantic field, colloquialisms and his unique writing style, which hence make the classification of this book as a travel journal, questionable yet interesting. The use of the first person narrator throughout the book; and especially when making several humorous interjections; create a medium via which the reader is able to communicate with Bryson and feel a part of the text as a whole. The chatty style and atmosphere the narrator creates sets the scene and again makes the reader feel as if they and Bryson are well acquainted. His use of well-structured language variants forge a legitimate relationship between himself and his audience and fabricate an undoubtedly entertaining read.

Bill Bryson unmistakeably redefines the genre of travel writing by defying the stereotypical travel journal. The accounts of his travels, challenge the primary purpose of travel writing, bringing to light the areas in Britain one wouldn’t like to visit as opposed to highlighting and accentuating the beauties The UK has to offer .

The use of wit and humour within Bryson’s text is very prominent. ‘ I took a train to Liverpool, they were having a festival of litter when I arrived’ The sarcasm and irony within this comment, is both sharp and interesting , referring to the accumulation of rubbish as a festival, of course meaning a festival in terms of grand lavish style with many in attendance,...
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