The Humans: A Novel Short Essay - Answer Key

Matt Haig
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1. What is the narrator’s rhetorical stance in The Humans?

The narrator is speaking from the position of an alien who is a complete foreigner to Earth, who is explaining its features for readers who have only the shallowest knowledge of life on Earthen. He is also telling his own story, which he hints at but does not say much about, yet.

2. What makes the narrator’s narrative so funny?

As an outside, the narrator is describing regular human life from a completely different perspective, and he notices the normal foibles of humanity and proclaims on their oddity in ways that we humans, who take this life for granted, do not normally exclaim on. We typically look to comedians to show us the strange in the ordinary, and get laughs by surprising us with unexpected views of our normal lives.

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