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Critical Analysis of The Kuglemass Episode

There are many humorous short stories. Some sitcoms are based on short stories. For example, they all have plots, rising action events, and resolutions. Take “The Simpsons” in every episode the characters make the watchers laugh with their dumb jokes, use of mockery, and clumsiness. Coincidently, they have the elements of a short story. On the other hand in a book, you can feel the same humour. “The Kuglemass Episode” by Woody Allen draws the reader into the story by Sidney Kuglemass’ (the main character) use of adulterous acts, sarcasm, and foolish mistakes.

When Sidney Kuglemass complains of what a boring love life he has, he figures only a magician can help him. His recent marriage with Daphne starts fading away. He receives a call from a mysterious man “Persky” who is a (what luck) magician. Sidney Kuglemass goes to Persky’s home and gets “zapped” into the book Madame Bovary. Sidney develops over time a close bond with Madame Bovary and revisits the book ever so often. Finally, after one of his visits his affair explodes on page three hundred and forty-four Sidney says “I can’t believe I’m doing it with Emma Bovary, me who failed freshman English,” Sidney, being only human, makes the reader realize how much he was looking for attention and how much he didn’t care if he committed adultery.

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As the audience gets into the story, the reader realizes Sidney’s extensive use of sarcasm. When told to tell no one about the magic box that transports Sidney into Yonville (Emma Bovary’s hometown) he states on page 343 “Yeah I’m going to call Rupert Murduk” The reader knows Rupert Murduk is a wealthy publisher of a newspaper in New York city. This sardonically means he would make sure all of New York knew the secret.

People can get themselves into somewhat of a muddle. Sidney Kuglemass is perfect at doing so. On page 346 He and Emma decide the right time for her transport into the big city (a.k.a. New York City),by use of Persky’s magical box. The reader at this point in time does not realize the fault. Everything goes fine at first. Emma explores the city while Sidney hides the secret well from Daphne. The time comes for Emma to go back to Yonville, but a bad turn of events on page 347 the magic box brakes and Emma is stuck in New York. Kuglemass says, “We have to get her back!” In a worrying way because he knows if they don’t somehow, someone (implying his wife) will find out.

After a long and brutal while they get Emma back to her book, but she leaves steaming mad at Kuglemass and their relationship spoils. Sidney promised he would never cheat again after this ordeal, then about three months later Kuglemass goes to Perskey’s home and decides the right book (“Portnoy’s Complaint”) for another affair. Perskey agrees and things go wrong the box goes up in flames and Perskey dies of a heart attack. Instead of going to the book of his choice Sidney stays in “Remedial Spanish” spending the rest of his life being chased around by the word “tener” (to have). Once one learns a lesson you would think sticking to it would be a good idea but unfortunately, not all can comprehend their foolish mistakes.

As the reader notes Sidney Kuglemass’ use of adulterous acts, sarcasm, and foolish mistakes makes for the perfect humorous short story. His adulterous acts only please him for one split piece of his life, the rest he spends trying to hide, and cover up what he has done. Kuglemass’ sarcasm makes the reader laugh. Who could forget Sidney’s foolish mistakes? Sidney made more foolish mistakes than he did wise choices and as the reader finds out he spends the rest of his life paying for it. Yes, he did make a lot of mess-ups but the average human does. If man can find time to think about his past mistakes then it will definitely help him with ones he makes in the future.