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Funeral Festivals in AmericaRituals for the Living$
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Jacqueline S. Thursby

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813123806

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813123806.001.0001

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Wakes and Other Amusements

Wakes and Other Amusements

(p.59) Chapter Three Wakes and Other Amusements
Funeral Festivals in America

Jacqueline S. Thursby

University Press of Kentucky

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

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