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AnesthesiaLove29AnesthesiaLove29 0 replies1 threads New Member
Hello everyone!
Is it clear and does it answer the prompt?
Prompt: What is your own exploration of Grotesque Humor? This is essay is an extended
definition, which means it must show your understanding and definition of humor.
Italians from the 15th century conceived a visualization for grotesque - ingeniously adding another class of humor – complicating it even more for scholars to analyze. Since its origin, considering grotesque adapted to many qualities - mostly negative - from constant years of butchered meaning it is concluded that grotesque humor is used to amuse the public. There are fascinating oeuvres around the globe that epitomize the unique humor of grotesque. In this essay, such works include, “Meat”, a short story from Cuba by Virgilio Peñera and Betty Boop in “Red Hot Mamma”, an animation directed by Dave Fleisher in the States. The observer will find the humor in the revelation as they explore frightening ideas such as succumbing into man’s most predatory instincts or setting aside beliefs; the observer willingly puts themselves vulnerable to the unknown and experience the “what if” with the artist, this is to reach an understanding of an outcome from giving into fear. Grotesque humorously blends the fantasy with man’s natural world, exaggerating the appearance to relieve them from uncertainty. Mentioned by Peter McGraw, there is no shame to laugh at images of fear, distortion or hideousness if, “… three conditions are satisfied: a situation is a violation, a situation is benign, and both of those appraisals occur simultaneously.” therefore a violation is not threatened by deadpan “humor”. In contrast, deadpan lack emotion to humor the observer but in lieu becomes vérité
The issue focused on grotesque is that it builds off people’s emotions not to entertain but to entertain and add clarity to the actions of a deranged mind. Deadpan is apathetic, ironically humor’s objective is to explore uncertainties, provide creative solutions and most importantly exhibit emotions to connect with the observer. And yet, deadpan “humor” exists without exploring human emotions or to offer clarity- it’s simply not funny. To elaborate, the violation in McGraw’s theory is the normal behavior of humans being violated, the violation becomes too aggressive (malign violation) then it stops being funny. In a mockumentary, The Office, Dwight Schrute, who devotes himself bluntly to his boss, but still thrives to dictate the lives of his co-workers with his laconic speeches and all while being involved in a monotonous relationship with a tightly wound employee, illustrates the awkwardness of deadpan. This constant monotone behavior deprives any sort of violation because that is the reality; accordingly, the observer’s connection with Dwight is lost and it is unbearable because it is too serious. Grotesque takes frightening ideas and exaggerates them to release the observer from the pressure, whereas deadpan augments seriousness - people are trying to escape from that reality not to re-experience it.
Grotesque explore frightening ideas with elegance to safeguard its benign violation otherwise, the image will fail to amuse. Unlike transgressive humor in which it “has no such moral purpose” as described by Michael V. Tueth in his essay, grotesque tests the observer’s culture and beliefs to explore an idea, for instance, calling attention to cannibalism. The short story of Virgilio Peñera, “Meat”, is possibly one of many grotesque touches of humor in which it depicts a society with acceptable cannibalism. A meat deprived town, that cries at the sight of vegetables after having eaten an abundance because most of their meals contained meat, in which people go to the extreme of taking a long serrated knife to cut a piece of themselves, cook it and, devour it, cease to exist because everyone ate themselves alive. The unimagined tickles the observer after having realized an exaggerated truth that may arise from eating oneself. Moreover, the people uncover positive consequences from eating themselves, “Soon ladies were seen talking about the advantages [cannibalism] brought…the warden of the prison could not sign death sentences of the condemned because he had eaten his fingertips” (Par. 3 pg. 1 .pdf). The observer is made aware of a belief of cannibalism that, as hideous as it sounds, it is not as bad - it fed the people and it empowered them to decide the fate of their lives. By the end of the story, the observer is left to chuckle at the end result knowing the obvious yet is reassured that a deranged act can prolong survival while diminishing despair; ultimately, catching the observer by surprise by awakening them of a profound new perspective on cannibalism.
Many people are against Hell, a place with an eternal fire with torment and echoes of weeping souls and, a second death. That is not the case with oeuvres of grotesque humor, certainly grotesque take on the challenge to break the rules in order to alter the observer’s reality to release them of their fear from the Bible’s horrifying description: if indeed their name “…was not found written in the book of life he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Dave Fleisher, with his black and white “Red Hot Mamma” animated film of Betty Boop, in which she nonchalantly walks into Hell slapping a tiny flame, then goes on to sing and dance with Satan’s servants before finally attracting Satan, who appears feeble and childish with a tiny crown; this fantasy ends with Betty Boop waking up from a dream, successfully allowing the observer’s superego to trump their ego “in order to ward off possible suffering” (Par. 9 pg. 57). Sigmund Freud’s discussion in his essay, “Humor”, sums up why people laugh because the superego suppresses the ego to protect it from threats. The observer’s view on Hell is horrifying, threatening their belief of Heaven, that they avoid exploring the possibility of it being entertaining. Consequently, a cartoon artfully blends their image of Hell as a fun place to be even for Betty Boop, who is a young damsel with a curious mind living a life of innocence. The observer laughs – to protect their ego - as their fear is explored, with the dancing servants welcoming Betty Boop, while joyful music plays in the background setting a happy mood and removing the idea that Satan is an alpha, without visiting Hell. No one has seen Satan, therefore it’s okay to believe he looks weak; there’s nothing to be afraid of. This animation succeeds as grotesque humor because it offers a creative alternative to Heaven while putting an end to the observer’s uncertainty, now they do not need to tiptoe through life hoping to go to Heaven since they are enlightened that Hell may just be as comforting.
A person’s enlightenment of the self-conscious emotion does not come lightly; accordingly, a person must transcend from their natural world with the help of grotesque humor to recognize that they are human. It is simple for an observer to be told what is wrong with them but, when they explore the ugliness and exaggerated world independently their conscious is relieved of their flaws. But, because humans are sensitive and are prone to be stubborn against change, grotesque humor creeps in ever-so-slightly to tickle the mind; it provides a comforting atmosphere that reminds the observer they are in a safe place. Because of a tickled mind, a euphoric feeling spreads throughout the mind giving a sense of self-awareness to the observer. However, due to its intense exploration of uncertainty, it is unfortunate that grotesque humor does not enlighten those with a broad sense of humor; there are many forms of humor – grotesque is one that is optimal to understand oneself – and if one is not, as Freud describes, “capable of the humorous attitude… deriving pleasure from humor when it is presented to them by others." then they miss out on all the pleasures and gifts of being human.

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