Essay 1 - Haircut: Stories of a Smug Small Town Many...

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Haircut: Stories of a Smug Small Town Many critics have made it known that Ring Lardner’s best work was done as a satiric comedy, but maybe even more satiric than comical. In his short story Haircut , the satire is sometimes revolting and tragic. The setting is in a small unnamed town in Michigan, as told by the narrator Whitey, the local barber. While cutting a customers hair, Whitey, a seemingly uneducated man, tells a story of the death of Jim Kendall, a practical joker who is killed by a supposedly accidental shooting. Throughout this tale, portrayed through Whitey’s narration, values of this smug small town are clearly satirized and appear incomplete, therefore making Lardner’s purpose of his story somewhat ambiguous. From the very beginning of the story we observe how uneducated and unintelligent the barber Whitey, appears. Starting with his tangled language, full of syntax errors and colloquialisms, the reader already begins to become skeptical of his reliability. In the opening paragraph Whitey says, "You can see for yourself that this ain't no New York City and besides that, the most of the boys works all day and don't have no leisure to drop in here and get themselves all prettied up." Although the entire town may talk in slang and mispronunciations, Whitey’s narration of Jim Kendall is the most important, which is why it makes the reader skeptical when hearing his story. It is
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Essay 1 - Haircut: Stories of a Smug Small Town Many...

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