The Car We Had to Push

486 Words2 Pages
“The car we had to push”, written by James Thurber, uses the car as the “vehicle” for holding the story together. The story includes several elements of humor, including anecdotes, parody, and hyperbole. Thurber uses these elements to present characters and to make his readers laugh. The use of a playwright form as a parody adds a sense of humor to the story. As the play “King Lear” is a well-known play to the reader, adjustments to its normality gives the reader a joyful experience. The “get ready man”, whose name himself is already funny, interrupts the play and presents himself as a lunatic. His hyperbole of “the world is coming to an end” is of course absurd and incredulous to the reader, but it arouses the reader’s unexpectedness, which is relieved through the form of humor. Furthermore, his ridiculous shouting fits well in the dialogue and special effects of the performance, which adds dramatic effects to the story. All of this adds to the humor of the play. The prank played on the father is also a very humorous element of the story. As Roy twitches the string which holds a large number of tins and cans secretly placed under the car, the father is frightened and deceived into believing that the engine has fallen out. The contrast between the reality and the illusion of the father gives a humorous impression to the reader. The chaos and pandemonium depicted enhances such an impression. The reader is as if personally observing the whole incident, making the funny account much more intimate. The grandmother’s ignorance in technology arouses the humorous feelings of the reader, who is rather familiar with it. The grandmother in the story is particularly paranoid about electricity. She has a “horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house”. After turning of the wall switch, she would be left in self-satisfaction of saving the
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