of the writer for creating such material is to make them laugh not just at the character, but their hilarious, silly and oftentimes unwise behaviours. In a way, works such as Emma, makes a person laugh at oneself, for the actions of the text is a representative of every human’s manners.
In this paper we shall argue that the novel is a presentation of a satirical humour that aims to induce laughter in the readers by the portrayal of human actions that the readers are led to believe are our foolishness. We shall see that the laughter the novel sets is based on our knowledge that the actions made by the characters are erroneous. This is possible by making the characters perpetrate repeated actions the inappropriateness of which are realized by the readers as and when the characters themselves realize the same. Our aim in the paper therefore, is to check the deeds, behaviours, attitudes and manners of the characters in the novel that induce laughter to the readers. That laughter is, we shall argue, a criticism of larger human follies that were prevalent in the psyche of the social set-up that existed during the time of Austen.
The incongruity theory of humour, the most popular among others, suggests that we laugh at things that are inconsistent with our expectation and when things are strange as against the standard that is considered usual. John Morreall argues that “we live in an orderly world, where we have come to expect certain patterns among things, their properties, events, etc. We laugh when we experience something that doesn’t fit into these patterns (15-16). He also quotes Pascal to make the concept clearer: “Nothing produces laughter more than a surprising disproportion between that which one expects and that which one sees (16). It therefore becomes simple to create laughter in people – by creating things, objects, and behaviours that are either unwise or inconsistent with the expected standard.
Nothing different seems to be the pattern in