Humor in Edgar Allan Poes Some Words With a Mummy

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Some Words With a Mummy" is an unusual Edgar Allan Poe story in that it is replete with humor from start to finish. Although the narrator mocks himself too, the true butt of the humor seems to be the American society of his times. His sharpest missiles are aimed at those who would consider themselves superior because of their 'intellectual' pursuits or because of their privileged access to the heritage of Western science and culture.


A symposium having wearied him into a drowsy headache, the narrator resolves to go to bed early with "just a mouthful of supper." The 'mouthful' proves a gargantuan one, consisting of four or five pounds of Welsh rabbit and at least five bottles of Brown Stout. The narrator drolly insists that after this "frugal meal" he went to bed hoping to sleep till noon the next day. Quite apart from the intention of entertaining the reader with his wit, the narrator probably also wishes to suggest that the ensuing story could have been a dream engendered by the extraordinary evening meal and his state of unusual weariness.
The narrator wittily complains that ere he had completed his "third snore" he was awakened by the doorbell and was given an urgent message from his friend Dr Ponnonner. The doctor had secured permission from the Directors of the City Museum to open and examine a mummy, and he invited his friend to the examination at eleven, that evening at his house. Excited and ecstatic, "overthrowing all in my way", dressing himself "with a rapidity truly marvellous", the narrator set off, at the top of his speed, to the doctor's.
An eager party of scientists and historians standing around Dr Ponnonner's dining table, on which the mummy had been placed, eagerly awaited the n ...
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