what are the similarities in E. B. White's definition of humor and democracy?

Expert Answers

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

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.

E. B. WhiteNew Yorker, July 3, 1944

Humor can be dissected as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process and the innards are discouraging to any but the pure scientific mind.

E. B. WhiteSome Remarks on Humor, introduction* 

Elwyn Brooks White (1899 - 1985) was an American author known for his contributions to the magazine The New Yorker and his children's books.

If one looks closely, several similarities between the two "definitions" become apparent.

Both are very concise in the choice of words used by Mr. White.  There is no flowery prose, nor mincing of words.

Both use the present tense to define their subjects in the here and now.

Both use an analogy to convey the meaning intended by the author.

In summation, they are to the point, written with an air of relevance, and provide the reader with a comparative essence. 


Posted on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial