Comical Side Of Scoop Essay, Research Paper
Evelyn Waugh was one of literature’s great curmudgeons and a scathingly funny satirist. Scoop is a comedy of England’s newspaper business of the 1930s and the story of William Boot, an innocent hick from the country who writes careful essays about the habits of the badger ( Editorial Reviews ). “With this book England’s wittiest novelist sets a new standard for comic extravaganza…the real message about SCOOP is that it is thoroughly enjoyable, uproariously funny and that everyone should read it at once” (The New York Times). This is just one example of the popularity of the comical relief hidden within the bindings of the book Scoop.
This book sets forth a new standard for comic extravaganza. The novel reads as though it had been formed with slapstick , but it is architecture of amazement. For example, his delightful style of the keys of typewriters in the personal quarters of one of Fleet Street s greatest press lords made no more sound than the drumming of a bishop s finger tips on an upholstered prie-dieu ; the buzzers of the telephones were muffled and purred like wart cats ; the massive double doors, encased in New England rosewood, by their weight, polish and depravity of design, proclaimed unmistakably, Nothing but Us stand between you and Lord Copper (Waugh).
Other additives were set forth with just the names of the newspapers and of the characters. Newspapers have fabulous names- the Brute, the Beast. A Communist named Pappenhacker, one of the cleverest men in Fleet Street, (Waugh 92) has difficulty finding places to eat because of his bullying of waiters (Waugh 92). This bullying has sound theory behind it. Every time you are polite to a proletarian, Pappenhacker believes, you help bolster up the capitalist system (Gelder 1). Pappenhacker hated the lower class. Another character, Cruttwell, was a teacher in college that he disliked and in this book he uses his name to get back at him by using that character as the butt of a lot of his jokes written in the book.
The Pension Dressler stood in a side street and had, at first glance, the air rather of a farm than of a hotel. Frau Dressler s pig, tethered by one hind trotter to the jamb of the front door, roamed the yard and disputed the kitchen scraps with the poultry. He was a prodigious beast. Frau Dressler s guests prodded him appreciatively on the way to the dining room, speculating on how soon he would be ripe for killing. The milch-goat was allowed a narrower radius; those who kept strictly to the causeway were safe, but she never reconciled herself to this limitation and, day in, day out, essayed a series of meteoric onslaughts on the passers-by, ending, at the end of her rope, with a jerk that would have been the death of an animal of any other species. One day the rope would break; she knew it and so did Frau Dressler s guests. (Waugh 25)
The main idea is unquestionably very slapstick humor. It is unmistakably portrayed throughout the novel. Evelyn Waugh actually served as one of Fleet Street s trained seals in Addis Ababa (Glender 2). Evelyn Waugh figured it would be funny if he decided to seed a most innocent and incompetent journalist on the fringe of Fleet Street to something very close to Addis Ababa. There he was supposed to find the news and there he ends up defeating the experts by achieving this large feat off, through his own ignorance and lack of enthusiasm, ends up getting the scoop.
There are some that argue the weakness of its basic farcical idea is somewhat inadequate (Gleder 2). Basically he is saying that the broadly or extravagantly humorous remarks made throughout, are too many. Mr. Waugh does write with such mastery that the use of 321 pages of his prose or ordinary speech is practically useless because the current generation seems to miss the broadly humorous remarks, thus almost rendering it useless. Although it is argued I believe that the book itself is not peerless to this generation and it is well developed towards its slapstick humor written in the book.
The conduct of the press representatives in Addis Ababa was very open to the laughter, in fact it was hardly worth the time and effort of so amazingly gifted a satirist as Mr. Waugh. Week after week there were no news and no amount of scrambling through the mud, no martyrdom of the spirit before haughty black officialdom, no playing of consular sources, no hiring of native spies and informers could provide news (Weigel 4).
Though the central humorous idea was hardly the strength needed as a base for such a book that has a folly of attacking through irony and wit. Every character has his or her own personality in which Waugh can work. For example, uncle Theoder ends up with Lord Copper and he is getting what he wanted all along, and in ending he wonders where are the prostitutes.
Boot is a character in which he is supposed to cover a non-existent war in which he ends up writing about odd events while he pursues Katchen, the women that is married and seems to use him for his money. It all just ends up in an ironic situation where William doesn t have a clue as to why he is out in Ismaelia and he ends up being the reporter with the Scoop . In concluding the story he ends up not even realizing where he was. He retreats back to the life in which he left and goes on living as if it were not even very exciting. It makes one smile just to think about what you would end up doing in a situation like that and if maybe by some small chance in a smaller way that has happened to you. At any rate, the story has elements of laughter throughout the dialogue. Finally, you see his life back from where he left it. He finishes by writing in pen the next article for Lush Places.