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Different people find different things funny. Most of the humor in this story is subtle, coming from the dismal conditions the people face in the tiny village in India. For example, Muni’s wife tells him he wants more than he can have.
“You have only four teeth in your jaw, but your craving is for big things… After all, next year you may not be alive to ask for anything.”
What is humorous about this is the matter of fact way in which she describes a circumstance that might be very possible, because they are so poor.
Muni’s insignificance is also demonstrated in a humorous manner when his wife sends him out shopping. The merchant pays no attention to him at first.
The shopman paid no attention to him. Muni kept clearing his throat, coughing and sneezing, until the shopman could not stand it any more and demanded, “What ails you?”
Although it is sad that Muni is given so little respect, it is also funny. The narrator’s description of Muni and his simple lifestyle finds humor in suffering.
There is also humor in the man who comes to the village thinking that everyone should be able to speak English and expecting to find a gas station. He is the stereotypical stupid American.
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