Wakes and Other Amusements

Jacqueline S. Thursby

in Funeral Festivals in America

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780813123806
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813134949 | DOI:
Wakes and Other Amusements

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This chapter examines frivolities around death and wake ceremonies in the U.S., in particular it looks at humor. It suggests that rather than a paradox or irony, the germ that makes humor operatable is simply surprise. Though humor can be used aggressively, a simple one based on unexpectedness of both human foible and wit is a welcome part of every culture. The chapter presents observations concerning the use of humor in the grieving American family.

Keywords: death; wake ceremonies; U.S.; humor; human foible; wit

Chapter.  7340 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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