Dreams are the paints of a great artist, and the world is their canvas. Artists are able to produce beautiful art pieces using their ideas and imaginations. Through art, we are able to communicate stories of tragedy, peace, hardship, and ease. In many ways, visual art and written stories can be compared to one another. Like a frame to a picture, the techniques in a short story help keep the story together. As for the elements they can be seen as the painting itself, providing both story and beauty. Both techniques and elements play crucial roles together. In both short stories “The Blues Merchant” and “Rich For One Day”, the influence of the ironic technique towards characterization and theme can be noticeably seen.
The use of irony greatly affects the overall theme of the Blues Merchant, like a border to a beautiful painting. We see the theme shift when we see the guard nodding to the rhythm of the Blues Merchant. When confronted by the guard sergeant, he receives the message which is “ You are not supposed to enjoy the blues. You get paid to watch, not to be human” (Washington 284). After this particular even takes place, we see how the Blues Merchant is able to shift the freedom of the guards, and the entrapment of the prisoners.
Through the Blues Merchants’ music, the guards are becoming trapped and confined while the prisoners are being able to taste freedom. The ironic technique can be seen when this occurs. The same technique can be seen when the narrator is describing the concert. In the last sentence of the story, the narrator states, “The guards remain trapped behind the prison walls while, if only for a short time, we are free” (Washington 284). Irony is at play in this sentence because the full transformation of the prisoners and guards is showcased. The theme of the story is reflected through irony, and the irony is shown in this quote. The theme of the story is that music can set you free, and the technique used plays a part by freeing the prisoners. The best paintings are the ones that that tell us stories. The Blues Merchant is able to paint a beautiful story of freedom for the struggling man. The Blues Merchant paints a powerful picture.
Not only can an ironic technique affect the theme of a story, but it can also effect the development of characters. We see this take place in “Rich For One Day”. Aline is girl who seems to be down in fortune, but seems to think otherwise. Aline misjudges her wealth when she remembers that she “ [is] rich today. She [has] eight dollars, a fortune.” (Suzanne 257). The fact that this economically unstable woman finds herself rich with eight dollars is ironic. She tries to convince herself that her own life is a life of luxury and comfort, although in reality, this is not the case. Aline tries to hide and stay away from the harsh truth when we see her “
Not quite awake and that she felt too rich today to give an answer” (Suzanne 257) to the designer calling her about a possible job offer. Considering that Aline is not doing well for herself, she should see to take this job, but instead she refuses to give an answer to the designer. The irony is seen when she says that she is deemed too rich to give an appropriate answer. If she were actually rich, then this statement would not be ironic, but considering she only has eight dollars in her bank account, then her saying that really tells the reader what kind of person Aline really is. Characters in a story are fundamental to a stories success. If an ironic technique is used effectively, the development of such characters can be very fruitful and promising.
Authors use many different techniques to transform the core aspects of a story. Artists can use different types of paint, or different bristles to create a desired affect on their work. Both authors and artists alike have been adapting these different ways of expressing their works for the sole purpose of communicating with their audience. Irony has proven to be a useful tool in terms of enhancing a theme of a story, or the development of a character. Imagine what stories and art would be without real purpose. What a story would be without effective technique. A painting without a story, A picture without a frame.