Following his hour-long interpretation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” English student Josh Baker closed his egregiously long-winded explanation by saying, “brevity is the heart of wit.”
Baker’s summary of humor’s role in the text accounted for 7 minutes of class time for section 9 of English 124, excluding the pause during which he downed a swig of boxed water.
“I hope the A in participation will be worth all this mess,” commented his classmate Lakyra Thomas after Baker’s assertion that “you just don’t see this type of language structure these days.”
The student demonstrated his knowledge of the text’s underlying messages by repeatedly cutting off his fellow students to interject.
“I think I’m better versed in literature than most,” said Baker, as he interrupted the graduate student instructor.
“Maybe you have something to add?” asked Baker of their professor, Georgia Donaldson.
“Well, actually, here’s how I interpreted that,” said Baker in regards to the misogyny Thomas pointed out in Austen’s text, before continuing to speak for several minutes.
Baker’s dissection of feminist themes left only five minutes of class time. Donaldson finished the class by suggesting that maybe next time she would like to hear some perspectives from women students.
Baker later admitted to never having read “Pride and Prejudice” but “watched a couple Youtube videos and skimmed the SparkNotes.” His dissection of chapter 14 included such phrases as “the key to the paragraph is in the first couple sentences” and “there’s a foil at play here.”
“I’d love to sock that kid in the throat,” said Thomas as she packed her things.