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Is "The Mouse" by Saki (Hector Hugh Monro)  literature or just light reading for fun?...

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christy12 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM via web

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Is "The Mouse" by Saki (Hector Hugh Monro)  literature or just light reading for fun?



"The Mouse" by Saki

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Saki's "The Mouse" is clearly worthy literature because it is cleverly written satire.  In his own inimitable fashion, H. H. Munro (Saki) writes of Theodoric Voler who has been brought up in a society that has screened him from "the coarser realities of life."  His fastidious nature as part of Edwardian society is what Saki satirizes so humorously as the man is initially mortified, "to his mute but very intense disgust" to have to harness the horse to the carriage that will transport him to the railroad. And, having done this, Voler discovers that he is the bearer of a certain little rodent.  Saki describes Voler's feelings with much light satire:

Furtive stamps and shakes and wildly directed pinches failed to dislodge the intruder, whose motto, indeed, seemed to be Excelsior; and the lawful occupant of the clothes lay back against the cushions and endeavored rapidly to evolve some means for putting an end to the dual ownership.

In the company of such greats as Oscar Wilde, Saki writes social satire that is sometimes rather biting, but often it is amusing as in his short story, "The Mouse."  His sparkling wit and good humor are delightful in many of his stories.  As his stories often deal with unconventional subjects and practical jokes, they rarely obey modern rules of realism.  But, laughing at the foibles of human nature is an experience many enjoy!


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