The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Themes & Symbolism

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A number of unhappy themes run through The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, two of which are referred to in the sardonic title. The title, which could be to a soothing child's story, suggests the attitude of childlike but sinister naivete that the communist state tries to instill in its citizens so that they can be better managed. Other key imagery compares communist faith to fundamentalist religion. The laughter referred to is the "laughter of the angels" — i.e., selfrighteous ideologues who joy in their "idyllic vision" so fanatically that they are quite willing to punish or even kill dissenters. The initial appeal of the manifesto-thumping ideologues and the desire of other people to share such joy are understandable, but the truth of the idyllic vision cannot be tested since it conveniently lies in the future.

Meanwhile the vision justifies all kinds of unsavory methods to reach...

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This section contains 510 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Study Guide
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