In the Laughter by Heinrich Boll, the story revolves around an actor who has based his acting career by perfecting his laugh. He has studied how people from every continent laugh. He is an expert in the art of laughing and is utilized in every aspect of showbiz including television, theater, and recording. He makes people happy by letting them feel the good effects of laughing. But despite of the implications of his profession to other people, he himself is not happy deep inside. The plain and lonely side of his life is truly reflected at his home and marriage where he and his wife have grown insensitive to each other.
When he goes home he does not laugh. Initially he tries to hide the fact that he is unhappy by professing that his facial muscles is already tired. But in truth, his life is a sad existence and he covers it by laughing from the outside. He reveals that he has grown irritated of his job and he does not want to hear noises and laughs from other people since it only reminds him of his job. He is a person in despair with a fake laugh. The author Heinrich Boll suggests that in order to live a happy life, one must do what his heart desires and order to satisfy one’s self and be able to make others happy.
He used the actor as an example of a grim existence of conforming to something that opposes personal will (Roberta, 2002). In “My First Goose” by Isaac Babel, the story is about a Jewish officer named Luitoy who is an intellectual person yet is seen as a weakling since he is considered to be too sensitive of a soldier in the Cossacks army. Luitoy had felt inferior due to his ethnicity as a Jew who are stereotyped to be over civilized and intellectual yet a sense of weakness is implied to them that is historically evident during the Nazi invasion.
He wants to fit in by adhering to his barbaric side and covering up is intellect and civilized aspect. He does this in one instance by showing to other Cossacks soldiers how he can harass and oppress an old woman. He killed a goose which was raised by the old woman and then instructs her to cook it for them. After which several of the Cossacks army members give their approval because they have seen his ruthlessness which they consider to be a sign of manhood and strength. But in reality, Luitoy is devastated by this action and he feels grated in the inside.
Although he felt strong at that instance, he reflects in this action and sees his downfall. This is similar to what happened to the author who had the same experience with the character. Isaac Babel became a member of the Cossacks army with the purpose of seeing action and fighting in the frontline. But after several years, his view on things has drastically changed. He realized the uselessness and devastation caused by oppressive actions. This is what is happening with Luitoy where in he swapped his cultural and ethical roots for a moment of fitting in to something that he is not.
The end of the story has showed signs of him being greatly affected of his actions which attest to the good person in him which gives him chance for reformation and acceptance of his true self (Roberta, 2002). “Amy Foster” is a story written by Joseph Conrad which tells the story of Yanko Goorall who is an immigrant on his way to the United States. When he arrives at the States, he has no knowledge of the English language which becomes a basis of discriminative beatings. He is sent to jail for inappropriate reasons. After he got out, he is given a job and learns English.
He pretty much adjust to the living conditions and learn how to live among the Americans. Eventually, he meets Amy Foster and they fall in love. They got married and had a son. After months of marriage, he contracts a heart disease which restrains him to staying in his bed. He falls into a severe condition in which attentive care is required to help him live. One day, he speaks his native language in a very confusing state which scared his wife. Amy became weary of his husband and decides to flee with their son. Soon after, Yanko dies by himself.
The story shows life and love that is conditional and subjective. Yanko went as far as living a life of lie by covering his culture and language. Yanko scared his wife just by asking water in his native language. The author shows discrimination in many ways that is present in society and marriage. Yanko indirectly and unknowingly deceived his wife of his culture. When she realizes of the truthfulness of their situation, she abandons him (Roberta, 2002).
REFERENCES Rubenstein, Roberta. (2002) Worlds of Fiction: Prentice hall.