Neil Simon Writing Styles in The Prisoner of Second Avenue

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C. Hugh Holman and William Harmon define “black humor” as “the use of the morbid and the absurd for darkly comic purposes in modern fiction and drama.” Simon uses both verbal and situational black humor to express Mel's bitter response to his situation as well as its absurdity. Mel uses verbal humor in the form of sarcasm and self-deprecation as a defense mechanism. He tries to alleviate his own sense of failure by belittling his wife, when, for example, Edna suggests that they move to another country where the cost of living is cheaper, Mel responds: “All right, call a travel agency. Get two economy seats to Bolivia. We'll go to Abercrombie's tomorrow, get a couple of pith helmets and a spear gun.” He tries to poke fun at his own situation and thereby lighten it when, after Edna demands, “Don't talk to me like I'm insane...

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This section contains 223 words
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