Is It Comedy? Essay

790 words - 4 pages

In Jonathan Miles’ comedy novel “Dear American Airlines”, first published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a man finds himself stuck in the Chicago O’hare airport on the way to his daughter’s wedding. Miles delivers the narrative of his novel in a very clever way by writing a long drawn out complaint letter requesting a refund for his airfare in the name of his character, and addressing the recipient as “Dear American Airlines” (using “dear” as both a term of endearment and as a form of address in many instances). However, as the letter progresses it quickly turns into a dramatic recollection of the main character’s life story, which is presented more so as a romantic tragedy than a ...view middle of the document...

Stella Sr quickly takes on the role of his long lost soul mate, his “one that got away”, and the reader becomes tantalized by the idea of a possible reunion (which the book never fully delivers on, unfortunately). The relationship of his parents is also something of a tragic love story; a psychotic wife married to a holocaust survivor/ex priest who seems to love her unconditionally, despite the abuse she inflicts on him. An argument could be made for the relationship between Bennie and Stella being the epitome of his mother and father’s marriage, and that Stella is simply more successful at running away, which might strengthen the claim of a romantic tragedy theme.
Perhaps the best argument one could make for this book being a comedy enlies in its ending. The ending itself is actually rather dramatic, and one of the worst cliffhangers I’ve experienced since watching the final episode of “The Sopranos”, but just the thought of how frustrated this ending probably left some readers cracks me up. However, that the fact that it did leave myself and so many other people flustered...

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