In the final confrontation between Matilda and Julia in Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline, by George F. Walker, what makes it funny and is it in any way disturbing? How is it disturbing and why?

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Karyth Cara eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the last confrontation between the seductress Matilda and the virginal innocent Julia, in a scene with Byzantine qualities, Julia is "completely unwitting" in her participation in the strangulation of Matilda. It is funny because of the conflict between reality and perception or expectation: humor comes from conflicts between what is and what self-interest expects or desires for there to be. When applied to Julia and Matilda, there is humor, yet the reality is humorless.

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