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Discuss the use of humour in

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Kristian Shaw 11.1 York The Opposite Sex By Laurie Lee Discuss the use of humour in "The Opposite Sex". The Opposite Sex is a small story, which although diminuitive in length, fits its' purpose well as a humourous short read. The use of language, the portrayal of certain images and the dexterous use of imagery in literary terms such as similies are all well within place in the story- all contributing to the laughable effect that it has upon its' readers. I believe that 'The Opposite Sex' is set and based on the times that the writer Laurie Lee had when he was a young boy. This helps to link the story into modern age circumstances, that although it has been a few years since Lee was a young boy, as proven in my Julius Caesar essay, human nature does not change. Therefore the reader finds it easier to relate to. The story is written very informally, rather like a 'chatty' style, this helps to create a better link between the writing and the reader themselves. This is shown in the very first line of 'The Opposite Sex'. ...read more.


Lee then reaches a humourous anti-climax as he builds up towards the idea of Ellie actually liking him. 'I also thought of Rudolph.' Lee ends the paragraph on this note, which I find amusing as it almost 'out of the blue' and surprising how he thinks about another boy when with this girl. As Lee engages speech with Ellie, we begin to relate to them and we begin to notice the relevance that the story actually has to today, and the situation young boys of that age are sought after. Ellie asks, 'Seen any snakes?', but Lee just ignores her and strides past. This is a good relation to boys and girls today, as such mind games between people who are fond of each other are very much in force today as they were in Lee's time. This is comical, as the reader understands how it actually is for Lee, and the reader has probably been through the same situation themselves, therefore can relate to it well. Informality of speech is shown again, as the door is laid open for debate over Lee's choice of words and phrases. 'My hands sunk deep into her open armpits...'. I find the next part particularly funny, as it's rather pathetic. ...read more.


This is entertaining as we can see the truth within the circumstances. Also once again, it's his admittance of these facts which is rather funny too. Lee then begins to become sensual, and romantically describes the setting that he finds Ellie. Also, the way that he had made himself available to her by climbing the gutter, is almost like a fairy-tale. He enters the room. Lee uses such similies as 'her night dress like drifts of ice' and 'bare sleeping arms like shining rivers'. From this description we can see how Lee is feeling, which is why it is all the more funnier when we find out what Ellie is about to say... 'Oh, no!....Not you again, really! Rudolph you bad, bad boy...' The Opposite Sex, is what I would mark as melodramatic, yet Lee has turned this around so it has been melodramatic, yet not depressing, but very entertaining. The plot is very amusing, especially as it leads upto the end, and reaches another anticlimax. Ellie's statement at the end, and the uncovering that Rudolph had been there before Lee, leaves the readers on edge wondering what would have happened next. Overall the Opposite Sex is a very entertaining and humourous read, and I had found myself laughing out loud throughout while reading until completion of the story. ...read more.

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