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Although the laugh parlors existed in fact, for we all attended them and even began to form clubs of our own, they also continued to lead a separate and in a sense higher existence in the realm of rumor, which had the effect of lifting them into the inaccessible and mythical.” p. 78

In this Millhauser piece, “Dangerous Laughter,” the author creates a fantastical community in which they view laughter as a dark, magical release. This short story is fantastical because, in our reality, laughing is a normal, unnoted thing, and not known as a sensual secret. We truly get a sense of how different this world is by the descriptions of these “ambiguous realUnknownms” of theirs in these laughter clubs and parlors. There is a sense of guilt and darkness of releasing one so, the groups giving in to “dark depths of laughter.” When Clara Schuler joins everyone, beginning as a neat, quiet girl, becomes a powerful laugher in these secret societies, showing that she surpasses limits that others haven’t ventured into. It was interesting how crying and weeping is brought in the clubs, proving to be a very tiring, but thrilling release. Of course, in real life, crying isn’t (from my knowledge!) a satisfying release, but more of a sad thing, only feeling relieved after, but surely not good feelings while crying. When Clara brings back their original laughter, going on for a very long time, the narrator says that she had “abandoned herself to her desire” to laugh as the narrator watched her lose herself to the laughter.

This piece is in a first-person narrative, describing them as a collective, but also describing his individual experience with the strange occurrence of this summer and what they all would do. The narrator is looking back on this summer, describing in intricate detail what they went through and how it the experience was. The personal, very specific details the narrator includes about the summer is amazing in creating this world for the readers, and also, the sensory details are very helpful as well in letting the audience experience this strange phenomenon.

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