James Thurber Essay

1502 words - 6 pages

James Thurber was an innovator of using humor in writing. He took everything he did to a whole new level. These idea's came from his unique childhood and his very humerus family. It was mainly these things that shaped his writing. Thurber's writing style was made unique by his handicap, his families unique sense of humor, and his uncommon view on life.Thurber was a normal child who did all of the things that a normal child would do. All of this changed one day when he was partially blinded by an arrow. His brother William was responsible for this tragic accident. R.E. Morsberger says, " When James was unable to participate in games and sports ( due to his childhood accident ) with other children, he developed a rich fantasy life, which would serve to inspire his later fiction" (22). This kind of accident would be devastating to any kid. Not being able to play games and sports would leave you and your mind ample time to come up with very interesting topics. That is exactly what Thurber did. In fact, " Thurber's poor eyesight gave several times basic for misunderstandings" (Morsberger 22). As Thurber became older his eyesight became steadily worse. In the last 10 years of his life he became totally blind. His blindness did not keep him from his true love, which was writing. In all, his handicap affected his writing style a great deal. Without this handicap he probably would not have had such a vivid imagination. Without his imagination his writing would have been totally different. All in all though Thurber's family affected his writing just as much as his handicap did. As much as Thurber's family affected his writing the two that did the most of this in his family were his mother and father." Mary Thurber, his mother, was a strong minded woman and a practical joker " (Morsberger 15). James' close family were all practical jokers. This is probably were he got his humoristic kind of writing style. He even uses his family in his stories. R.E. Morsberger says, " Thurber's father, who had dreams of becoming an actor or lawyer, was said to have been the basis of the typical small, slight man of Thurber's stories" (15). Mary Thurber was the biggest practical joker of the family. She often used jokes that involved elaborate disguises and sudden changes in identity. "Thurber often wrote about incidents in his own life" (Bryfonski 428). One thing that was all ways around Thurber's life was confusion. Most of the confusion came from his mother. He used confusion to keep the readers attention and to keep them interested but most of all it was because he had been around confusion his whole life. He came to know and love it and that's why he incorporated it into his writing style. Dedria Bryfonski says, "Thurber also was inspired by confusion with language as in the story The Black Magic of Barney Haller, where his handyman Haller's gibberish leads Thurber into a linguistic wonderland" (428). It is pretty obvious that...

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