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University Days James Thurber Essay

James Thurber

NOTES PREPARED BY SATHEESH


Thurber's fame as a humourist rests on both his writings and his drawings. His writings are remarkable for their sublime humour, pathos and psychological insight. In his childhood an accidental arrow left him blind in one eye. Eventually, a 'sympathetic opthalmia' took over his other eye. Owing to this, his early life was filled with a certain melancholy and introspection. He unleashes a masterpiece of humor and subtle mockery in 'University Days.' The essay amuses his audience with the follies and foibles of himself and his peers at the university.

1. Thurber could never pass botany. He never once saw a cell through a microscope. The instructor would begin patiently explaining how anyone can see through a microscope. He would adjust the microscope for Thurber. But he would always end up in a fury claiming that Thurber pretended that he couldn't see. The student was supposed to see 'a vivid, restless clockwork of sharply defined plant cells.' What Thurber saw looked like a lot of milk. Thurber used to complain that the microscope took away the beauty of flowers. He was not solely concerned with the mechanics of flowers. He was more interested in the aesthetics of flowers.

2. Thurber took a deferred pass and waited a year. The next year the professor came back from vacation brown as a berry and fit as a fiddle. He was determined to make Thurber see cells this time. Students to the right of him and to the left of him were seeing cells, but not Thurber. The professor pulled himself together and began patiently. He declared that he would try every adjustment of the microscope known to man. He swore that he would make Thurber see cells or give up teaching. The professor was working up gradually. When he reached...

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Pages:

5 (1143 words)
0

Added:

02/04/2012

Category:

Literature / English

Plagiarism level of this essay is: 97%

A Review Of University Days By James Thurber

In the essay, “University Days” James Thurber does a sensational job keeping the reader’s interest throughout the entire story. He explains his college experiences in a way that makes the reader both interested and amused at the same time. Thurber portrays the message that the all-star football player was not the brightest bulb on the tree, which is humorous because many people can relate to that because it’s the same at their school. The author uses a creative writing style to try and capture his audience’s attention throughout the entire essay. He uses descriptive wording, humor, and stories that relate to the reader to accomplish his goal of telling his college stories in an exciting and memorable way.

The descriptive wording used in this essay contributes to the enjoyment of the story. Many authors just tell stories without going in-depth and it makes the reader’s mind wander. That’s why Thurber’s style is so effective; he explains every situation very clearly and also backs them up with examples. He recalled the story about his classmate, Bolenciecwcz who was seen as the star of the football team. He was reminiscing on a time in particular that their teacher asked the football player what form of transportation he took to get to school. Bolenciecwcz had a tough time comprehending the question and was beginning to feel some pressure from his classmates to answer the question correctly. He was having so much trouble searching for an answer that the author described the situation by saying, “At this time, Bolenciecwcz was staring at the floor, trying to think,
his great brow furrowed, his huge hands rubbing together, his face red.”(346) His classmates burst out into laughter at this point; in order to help the speechless athlete, a few of the boys tried helping him by saying “Toot, Toot, Too-Tooooooot!” Even they had known that he rode to school on the train.(347) This quote shows the reader how
Another example of the author being extremely specific was when he was talking about his troubles when it came to seeing cells through microscopes. He needed to see the shape of the cell so that he could draw it for his assignment, but he wasn’t capable of seeing it himself. The thought of trying to have his buddy look through it for him occurred, but he didn’t think he could get away with it. Thurber said, “He was a quiet, amiable blonde youth, number 473, and he would have seen through the microscope for me if we could have gotten away with it, but we couldn’t get away with it.”(345) Thurber’s descriptive wording really makes it easier to picture what is really taking place and it also helps to paint a vivid image in the reader’s mind.

The author uses humor to the make the reader laugh and it also adds excitement to the story. When the professor is talking to Bolenciecwcz he says, “Why is it that we never have anything hot from you on the horse pavilion?”(348) That quote is an example of the point he is trying to make that in most...

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