The Effect of Humour in Galloway's the Cellist of Sarajevo

Topics: Humour, Comedy, Humor Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: April 5, 2010
People of all ages and cultures respond to humour. Riddles and jokes have been told for centuries to make light of situations and to make people laugh. Humour is the tendency of particular experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. People are able to be amused, laugh, or smile at something funny, and therefore they are considered to have a sense of humour. To find something humourous depends on the person and their taste in humour and there are many instances when humour does not result in laughter because of the mood of the surroundings or the context. Humour is an emotion that enables us to experience joy even when faced with adversity. It can be seen that in Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo, humour is used in a dark way to lighten the mood. This is done so that the readers have glimpses of light in a dreary time. Humour helps people, in this case the characters, carry on their lives in times of adversity. Galloway uses the lives of Kenan and Dragan to exemplify how humour, in the slightest form, can make a dreary day a little more pleasant. Through examining the life of Kenan, a middle aged man, it will be proven that humour has an important role in his daily life. Kenan has the duty of carrying canisters to the brewery to bring clean, filtered water for his family and Mrs. Ristovski, the neighbour. Before the war, Kenan was a clerical assistant at an accounting firm. His journey to the brewery is very risky because at any point he may be shot; therefore, humour has a huge impact in the way Kenan presently lives his life. Before Kenan leaves his house his wife and him joke about their clothes: “Would you like me to get you some shoes?...No, she says. But I’ll take a hat if you have time...Of course, he says. I would assume you would like mink?” (Galloway, 26). At a time of war, fancy clothes will not benefit either of them, but he leaves his wife in a good mood. Amila and Kenan use light humour to make a dark situation a little...

Cited: Galloway, Steven. The Cellist of Sarajevo. Toronto, Vintage Canada, 2008
"Humour." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. January 30, 2010
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