In "Granny and the Golden Bridge," do you think Alegria uses humor effectively in this story? Give reasons and provide details from the text to support your answer.

In "Granny and the Golden Bridge," Alegria uses various types of humor effectively. Types of humor present in the story include anecdotal humor, ironic humor, and hyperbole. These all contribute to the narrator's grandmother's characterization.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the short story "Granny and the Golden Bridge" by Claribel Alegria, Manuel, a man from Salvador on a speaking trip to Europe, reminisces about his grandmother. Alegria effectively uses several types of humor in this story. For instance, she uses anecdotal humor. This is when one of the characters...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

In the short story "Granny and the Golden Bridge" by Claribel Alegria, Manuel, a man from Salvador on a speaking trip to Europe, reminisces about his grandmother. Alegria effectively uses several types of humor in this story. For instance, she uses anecdotal humor. This is when one of the characters tells stories for comedic effect. In this case, Manuel shares funny anecdotes about his grandmother.

First, he relates about how his Granny would provide meals for the troops on both sides of the bridge. She was spying for rebels so that they could blow up the bridge. When she hears that troops are searching for her as a suspect, Granny dyes her hair red and pretends to be a prostitute. Later, Granny paddles a canoe upriver, ostensibly to sell fresh fruit, but when she arrives at a guerilla camp, she sets the fruit aside and sells the weapons that are hidden underneath.

The author also uses ironic humor. When irony is used in literature, the situation in the story turns out to be different from what people expect. In the case of "Granny and the Golden Bridge," the narrator, Manuel, starts off by saying that his Granny intended to cook meals for the troops. This is something that readers might expect from a grandmother: cooking meals and feeding people. However, the story then takes several ironic twists. We find out that Granny was actually serving meals to spy for the rebels, that she impersonated a prostitute, and that she was an arms dealer. Readers would not expect grandmothers to perform any of these activities.

Finally, Alegria uses hyperbole in the story. Hyperbole is when writers exaggerate circumstances for humorous effect. Examples of hyperbole in this story include the scene in which Granny confronts the troops disguised as a prostitute.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team