Book 2 Literary Techniques (Page 21)




Black Humour results when the writer or artist presents a very gruesome or horrific situation in a humorous way.


Example 1

       A sign in a butcher's shop window reads HANDS FREE. Behind the sign stands a butcher engaged
       in slicing off meat from a large carcass. A large knife is attached securely to his arm - only a stump
       remains where his hand should be.



Absurdity occurs when a person or situation is portrayed as ridiculous or ludicrous. The message derived from the content is contrary to all reason or common sense. More serious writers of the absurd will focus on a higher sense of absurdity, commenting in general on the quality or conditions of existence in an irrational world (see the work of Camus and Beckett).


Example 1

      Beckett's play Waiting for Godot is classic absurdity. The beginning is the end. The characters
      cannot rationally communicate with each other (and this is where the humour begins) until finally
      the play ends - nothing has changed and Godot is still waiting and will always be waiting.



Many creators of texts use light and dark to establish atmosphere and give meaning to the ideas raised in their texts. Sunlight can create a sense of happiness, growth, fulfilment and acceptance whilst darkness connotes evil, fear, foreboding or death (see definition of POSITIVE and NEGATIVE CONNOTATION). Dawn and



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