Trickster Treat Harris Analysis

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Joel Chandler Harris’ “Trickster Treats” One thing Brer Rabbit and Bugs Bunny have in common is that they are both tricksters. Characters who use their cleverness, arrogance, superiority, and vanity to outsmart their enemies are called the Tricksters. Joel Chandler Harris, a famous American short-story writer and humorist, born in Eatonton, Georgia (1848-1908) interpreted animals in his stories as tricksters. Harris turned out to be a newspaper apprentice and gained his firsthand knowledge of Negro slaves and their stories (Harris 22). As an adult, Harris’ stories of Uncle Remus brought him to fame. Harris presented Old Uncle Remus, a lovable shrewd former slave, and narrator of his Brer Rabbit tales. Harris’ stories and sketches were so great …show more content…
The trickster tales are the outgrowth of stories brought to the Americans by slaves, mostly from West Africa in the early 20th century by Joel Chandler Harris. In stories and cartoons of Bugs Bunny and Brer Rabbit they play the tricksters; in a way, they show a mixture of their finesse and bumbling stupidity. Out of these two rabbit tricksters, Bugs Bunny has delighted cartoon viewers since he was created in 1940, but none connected him with traditional or literary folklore (Baker 149). The same can be said of Bugs and Brer Rabbit, both have recognizable rabbit shapes and features. However, both are more human in several ways. For example, Brer Rabbit eats meat and honey, Bugs is a man about town who eats carrots. Despite their human characteristics, Bugs and Brer Rabbit in the form are ideal traditional figures in the art of trickery. By putting their heads together, they produce entertaining stories and shows that transmit basic truths about human life. The similarities in the stories were drawn from African-American and Native-American folktales. For instance, Brer Rabbit’s roots lie in West African folktale traditions; he uses Brer Fox and Brer Bear’s conceit to save himself from getting eaten. Bugs Bunny’s roots lie in Native American folktale traditions, and he uses his cleverness to outwit Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, Yosemite Sam, and Daffy Duck. This emphasis on both the animal and human sides of the trickster rabbit helps to heighten the irony inherent in the traditional overt sexuality of the trickster