The Importance of Humor

A good book is one that can make you cry, laugh, scream, and shake with anger all at once.  If the book is lacking in even one of these departments than it’s not worth it and you should put it down and look for greener pastures.  For me, humor has always been difficult to find in books, often times jokes can come off as cheesy or really offensive. Nonetheless, when it is done right, humor can be helpful in setting the mood and keeping the plot moving.  Without humor, books run the risk of being dry. Humor, in general, serves many purposes and Jemisin utilizes them all throughout the series.

However, the true art in which Jemisin uses humor is in the way she manipulates it in order to include those hard to approach subjects.  Humor is a good way to lower people’s defense, it gets them comfortable and relaxed. This relaxed state allows for authors to approach tougher subjects.  In one article, humor is described as the only available vehicle to discuss such topics. Jemisin addresses many “sensitive” topics dealing with racism, oppression, consent to name a few.  Jemisin surrounds her work in humor in order to get people’s guard down so that uncomfortable topics can be discussed. In another article, “Intellectual humor gives us momentary freedom from the tyranny of logical thought. It allows us to escape the bounds of reality and indulge our capacity for originality and creative.”  And I think she does a great job at this. Instead of getting frustrated or feeling awkward when I got to those hard to read moments I have a more open mind ready to absorb and think about what Jemisin throw ay readers in her books instead of immediately rejecting it.

For me what mattered the most is that Jemisin embedded humor throughout the series and it makes her books even more memorable and one of the biggest reasons I love the series.  In an article entitled “Importance of Humor Writing” the author writes, “When we’re successfully humorous—live or in print—people remember.” This really applies to The Broken Earth Trilogy More than any other quote or moment, I recall the funny ones.  Things like “You getting the band back together” or “You get ready to Rumble” I thought were so funny that at random moments during the day I would remember these things and have a good laugh.  This allowed for a chance to relax when I was reading for all the death and sadness that was happening.

Jemisin wields humor like a sword and she is a master swordsman using her weapon with elegance and precise leaving people in awe.  I think one of the reasons that every book was so easy to read was because Jemisin includes so much humor in her books and it helped in keeping my attention and gave me breaks from the hardcore tense parts of the book without me having to close the book and walk away for a moment. The moments of laughter and enjoyment helped with the overall flow of the book.  It prevents the books from being to stressful and tense all the time because Jemisin includes such heavy topics.

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