Analysis of The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen

This is a short analysis of The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen.

About Woody Allen:

Woody Allen was born Allen Steward Konigsburg in 1935. He is a writer, director, and actor.

As a kid, he hated school and once said, "I loathed every day and regret every day I spent in school." Once home from school, he shut himself up in his bedroom and spent all of his time reading, learning to play the saxophone, and teaching himself magic tricks.

While in high school, he began writing jokes for stand-up comedians and later for television comedians as popular as Sid Caesar.

Soon he was writing and directing plays and films, as well as acting in many of those films.

He began with farcical comedies, and later films, which often blend comedy with philosophy and trivial matters with serious concerns.

Some of his well-known films include Bananas, Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose, Husbands and Wives, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Match Point, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Allen’s Writing Style:

As in "The Kugelmass Episode," he blends life with art, often literature, music, films, and painting.

Like with his films, Allen's stories are filled with witty one-liners and verbal puns. He uses sarcasm and hyperbole.

In "The Kugelmass Episode," he blends literary classics like Madame Bovary and Portnoy's Complaint with pop culture, as in his use of brand names.

New York City is Allen's most common setting location, and the story contains many familiar places: Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, SoHo, FAO Schwarz, and City College.

Much of Allen's comic material derives from his urban, Jewish, middle-class background. He once said, "My one regret in life is that I am not someone else."

His characters are often obsessed with death. As individuals, they often explore the meaning of life, relationships between men and women, and the idea of illusion versus reality (in the form of magic, the supernatural and films).

The Kugelmass Episode:

Kugelmass, not unlike many people his age, is bored with life and desires some "magic." He trades science and philosophy—his psychiatrist —for The Great Persky and a magical Chinese cabinet.

The Kugelmass Episode by Woody Allen

He says he has "soul," but he becomes a predictable stereotype or social cliche to the point of satire.

He wants more in life, but even when it goes terribly wrong, he doesn't know when to stop.

Thus, the story can be seen as a moral fable.

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