Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With Humor Comes Life Lessons

Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid brings me back to my extremely awkward stage in life, middle school. I remember always tugging at my clothes and touching my hair and thinking how uncomfortable I felt. Kinney’s novel allows the reader to travel straight back into that stage of discomfort, and depending on the age group, Kinney’s voice portrays the humor within the transition into self confidence.

Greg Heffley’s experiences in middle school may seem serious and stressful to him, but for the reader, these experiences don't seem to even come close to their idea of stressful, and this is where the humor presents itself. In order for this novel to be considered funny, the reader must have some idea that their stress is more important or worthy. This concept of stress demonstrates that we as a culture take a lot for granted. Although ‘judging the book by its cover’ a person may think that Kinney’s novel is only read by middle schoolers, as a college student I found that Greg’s story held some insightful advice, don’t stress the little things.

Not only did Diary of a Wimpy Kid bring advice that I was not expecting, but most of the novels we read over the semester have brought surprising life lessons. I have come to terms that humor travels with deep insight and that if you have the ability to laugh at a topic, you have some sort of understanding or inside knowledge. Humor allows us to test how aware we are, and forces us to be more alert and conscious of our surroundings. Humor serves a wide range of purposes, and it allows us to feel alive, by forcing us to wake up, and really think. After reading and discussing our selected readings, I have noticed how apparent humor is in society, and also really take into account the purpose of humor in each situation, and humor is so complex, yet simple in its own way. Humor is a useful tool in education, and it allows for a deep reflection, providing further examination.

As time goes by, I wonder if the definition of humor will just continue to be a never ending collaboration of experiences but one thing I do know is that humor will always be present and continually changing.

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