Readers will note how Lord Newsworthy relies on his butler to put his hat on and to take the cap off his new lessee. Much of the story humor derives from the dialogue, with even the butler given choice lines. By contrast, the head-gardener Is given a comic Scottish accent (she’s paying’ me TWA upon’ a week’). Students should be encouraged to note dialogue and descriptions they find particularly funny, and explain why. The comic figure of Lord Newsworthy is central to the story.
Students should consider the way in which he responds to his son’s courtship and eventual marriage to Aggie Donaldson, and what it reveals about snobbery and class. They might examine, too, how Woodlouse portrays Lord Newsworthy comic concern for the well-being of his prize pumpkin and also consider why the latter makes its first appearance about a third of the way through the story. Humor In The Story He gives orders as an Earl but nobody really listens to him. We see this when Freddie acts confused about the girl he was seen kissing, “Girl?
He quavered. Girl, governor? ” this brings in the humor as we are shown that the poor Newsworthy is not taken seriously. He keeps asking about the girl but Freddie keeps going around in circles, taking his time to answer Newsworthy. Though, even after Freddie has explained he still asks who the girl is. The bathos was shown in ” , … No Earl of Newsworthy had ever won a first prize for pumpkins… ” The story was built up with a mysterious picture only to find out that the picture was Just an “ordinary’ pumpkin.
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The anta climax creates a sort of humor because we’re all waiting to hear about the mysterious picture and then we find that Its nothing big Just a pumpkin completion. Lord Newsworthy Characterization Lord Newsworthy Character Is created In many different ways through hat he says, his thoughts, his actions, his appearance and what others think of him. Lord Newsworthy longs to the landed gentry and speaks in a very posh, British dialect. By using manner of speaking was used in early twentieth century Britain. When Newsworthy is speaking, he uses many exclamation marks.
When he is speaking to Freddie, he jumps to the conclusion that the pumpkin had been harmed. “Frederick! Speak! Tell me! ” shows that Newsworthy panics very easily and gets distressed when there is no need by assuming things. We learn a lot about Newsworthy from his inner thoughts too. Elements Of Humor In his story “The Custody of the Pumpkin,” P. G. Woodlouse creates humor in a variety of ways. The story describes (among other things) Lord Newsworthy frustration that his inner-do-well son, Frederick, has been flirting with the daughter of the estate’s gardener.
Early in the story, the following passage, which is typical of the story’s humor, appears: “Frederick! ” bellowed his lordship. The villain of the piece halted abruptly. Sunk in a roseate trance, he had not observed his father. But such was the sunniest of his mood that even this encounter could not damp him. He gambled happily up. “Hullo, governor,” said Freddie. He searched in his mind for a pleasant topic of conversation, always a tater of some little difficulty on these occasions. “Lovely day, what? ” His lordship was not to be diverted into a discussion of the weather.
He drew a step nearer, looking like the man who smothered the young princes in the Tower. The humor of this passage depends on a number of factors, including the following: Use of the very forceful verb “bellowed,” especially when that verb is followed by the words “his lordship. ” We don’t usually think of dignified English aristocrats as bellowing, and so this combination of words is funny partly because of the comic incongruity of the verb and the noun. The phrase would be far less amusing if it had been written “bellowed Newsworthy” or even “bellowed the lord. The words “his lordship” are especially cultivated and thus seem out of place when following “bellowed. ” The description of Frederic as the Milan of the piece” is also amusing. Frederick is not evil or dangerous or malign. Thus Woodlouse uses comic exaggeration here and elsewhere. There is a comic contrast between the angry Newsworthy and the love-smitten Freddie, who is still “[slunk in a roseate trance. ” As the phrase Just quoted illustrates, the humor of the story dependence in part on mimic overstatement.
It would not be nearly so amusing if Woodlouse had written that Freddie was “still thinking of his beloved. ” The phrase “roseate trance” is a splendid example of ostentatious hyperbole. Use of comic verbs, as in “gambled,” which implies a light-heartiness totally in contrast to the mood of Lord Newsworthy. Use of comic slang, as when the son of an English aristocrat speaks to his father as if he were a cockney (“Hullo, governor”). Such speech, designed to diminish his father’s anger, is only likely to increase it, thus providing an example of comic irony.
Finally, nee more aspect of the humor of this passage deserves attention: the use of a comic simile, when Newsworthy is described as looking “like the man who smothered the young princes in the Tower. ” This phrase is humorous for several reasons: it is exaggerated; it is vivid; it catches us by surprise; and it is highly inventive. (Imagine anger. “) Woodlouse, then, uses a variety of standard techniques for achieving humor, most of which depend, in one way or another, on incongruity. The contrast between “Frederick” and “Freddie” is Just one of many examples of the incongruous in this passage and in the story as a whole.
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