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Marrying Absurd and The Night the Bed Fell More different than similar Although comedy and satire are similar literary styles they sharply contrast in a few fundamental areas These fundamental differences are clear in a comparison of the comedic short story The Night the Bed Fell by James Thurber and the satiric Marrying Absurd by Joan Didion Broadly defined a comedy can be is a work depicting the uphill struggle and eventual success of a sympathetic hero usually about ordinary people in difficult but non-life-threatening predicaments Satire on the other hand is a genre that exposes and ridicules human vice and folly Its characters are usually unsympathetic often detestable and seldom commendable Marrying Absurd and The Night the Bed Fell can be contrasted as representatives of their genres in three areas their tone their purpose and their method The tone of a comedy is generally light-hearted and entertaining whereas the tone of a satire is critical and ridiculing In fact what most sharply separates comedy from satire is their entertainment quality In this tradition through his descriptions of various characters Thurber clearly sets a lighthearted tone for his comedic short story The Night the Bed Fell Thurber makes straightforward characterizations rather than criticizing his characters for their eccentricity For example he describes his Aunt Gracie Shoaf as having a burglar phobia but she met it with great fortitudeshe scared them off before they could take anything by throwing shoes down the hallway If the author was attempting to satirize his Aunt he would criticize her for this strange behavior but rather he finds amusement in it Marrying Absurd on the other hand has a clearly satiric tone Through her use mellow drama and exaggeration Didion clearly communicates her satiric intention For example Didion accounts the boastful assertions of a Las Vegas justice of the piece Mr Brennan who prides himself on the fact that he got the marriage ceremony time down from five minutes
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