The four essays in the reading have some similarities that are apparent to any reader. To begin with, they give an assumption of what they feel individuals believe in. For instance, “The Anthropology of Manners” shows that individuals have different manners because they belong to different cultures. Manners, therefore, differ from culture to culture; some manners may be a taboo in one culture while still acceptable in other cultures.
“The Search for the World’s Funniest Joke” believes that a joke is laughable according to one’s understanding of the joke. “A Few Kind Words for Superstition” is another essay that expresses how much individuals believe in superstition.
Another essay that talks about man and his beliefs is “Forbidden Things”. For instance, this essay notes that there is a rule that warns individuals against washing hair in the sink. The essay explains that some practices might be forbidden among some individuals, but they are acceptable among others, like the caution against washing hair in a sink. Thus, the beliefs that individuals follow define who they are.
The four essays also introduce us into a world in which rules and regulations are used to direct our everyday life. “The Anthropology of Manners” notes that, in some places, it is a rule not to eat with one’s hands, and this rule is observed by individuals of the particular place the rules apply to.
“Forbidden Things” is an essay that also illustrates that rules apply in all areas of the human life. For instance, the author gives an example of a rule that states that one is never to smoke in a given area. “A Few Kind Words for Superstition” is also another essay that shows that rules apply in every sphere of life. The essay notes that individuals believe in superstitions because these superstitions represent rules that are to be followed. The four essays are thus extremely creative works that talk about beliefs that surround the life of human beings.