Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comedy and Misunderstanding

            In Hau'ofa's Kisses in the Nederends, misunderstanding of humor and comedy, allows the reader to see the distinct differences between the Western culture and the Pacific Islander culture, the characters' character, and the satirical undertones. Hau'ofa's humor is meant to make the reader laugh out loud; he uses puns, satire, and conversational humor. However funny the novel may be, however, the satire is meant to evoke more serious undertones about inequality and corruption. The comedy, although apparent on every page of the novel, is not Hau'ofa's main point; he uses wit and satire in order to attack humanity and society's problems and faults. He does this by disregarding the social injustices as a joke throughout the novel. 
       The novel begins with a humorous action scene in which Oilei is relieving himself (in a pig-like manner) and his dog pees on his foot. This reflects how animal-like and disgusting Oilei is from the beginning.From this moment on the reader knows that this novel will be humorous. Yes, their exists puns such as calling Oilei a prostate or a pig, which is funny because he has a medical problem with his prostate and he actually acts like a pig. When Oilei is meeting with the Christian Reverend, Masu Lasu, he tells him to "take your arse out of my house, and don't bring it back here again. Oh shit!"(which was one of my favorite lines in the entire novel). Oilei and the Reverend don't see eye to eye and therefore they can't understand each other fully, especially each other's humor. One obvious difference between them is that the Reverend speaks as a reverend would, in a very respectful way while Oilei curses regularly. The difference between Western ideas and Pacific traditions and ideas is shown here.
      It is obviously hysterical that Oilei can't stop farting but that is not what is truly important (though entertaining) in this novel. Through his journey we sees the outrageous society and the many problems of corruption and social justice that exist in his community. 

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