Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town Background

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town Background

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is a collection of sequential short stories that was published first in 1912. They were written by Stephen Leacock, a Canadian political scientist and writer, who was one of the most famous humorists in the world around WWI. Leacock was very active politically, oftentimes advocating for conservatism though he consistently declined becoming a candidate for all elections in Canada. Much of his writing could be considered political, but generally his works are less polarizing in terms of themes covered; Leacock’s humor mostly criticizes the flaws and follies of humans.

Today, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is one of the most well-known works of Canadian literature as a whole, not just humorous literature. Set in Mariposa, a small town that is reminiscent of Orillia, Ontario, where Leacock lived for a little bit in his life, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town somehow appeals to more than those familiar with Orillia. Not only is the town itself very generic in terms of structure and names of locations within it, so that many readers feel some connection to the setting, but the characters are also all archetypes of human flaws. Though these characters embody many weaknesses and shortcomings of our human nature, Leacock still portrays them in a sympathetic and humorous way as they go about their lives, full of exaggerated drama and importance in their beloved Mariposa.

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