Most critical analyses of humor in postcolonial literary settings have focused on its power to critique and subvert dominant hegemonic systems in ways that tend to divide participants according to predictable dichotomies. Yet humor theorists have long recognized laughter's equivalent potential as a bonding mechanism. An examination of the rhetorical functions of humor in Andrea Levy'sSmall Islandreveals the extent to which these affiliative forms of humor can be successfully deployed across cultural divides within a migrant context, as well as the risks and limitations inherent to such an approach. Ultimately, the novel's gentle, inviting, and accessible humor provides the basis for a convincing, character-driven appeal to reduce racial prejudice.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Shumway, Jacob Holt, ""Laughter Is Part of My War Effort": The Harmonizing and Humanizing Influences of Laughter in Andrea Levy's Small Island" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7435.
humor studies, Caribbean, migrant British literatures, Andrea Levy