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Irony Essay Examples

Essays on Irony

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Analytical of Brent Staples

In “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples makes the most interesting idea that, people look – always – to black men as a threat, they see every dark skinned youth as an incoming danger, and that is what Staples implies in his essay. He also explains when he was young, people looked at him as a mugger or, a rapist or even worse. So, throughout his essay we can see Staples’ realization of the fact that, people – rarely…...

Short Story The Pit and The Pendulum

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" takes location throughout the Spanish Inquisition. The morbid narrative consist on an innocent man's worries coming to life after he is sentenced to death. "The Pit and the Pendulum" showcases the style of terror and ruthlessness by establishing descriptive setting, extreme plot, and innovative irony. Setting is a huge part of the thesis because it catches the readers attention to see what the character sees. One of the most prominent setting Poe…...

“Art for Heart’s Sake” by Reuben Lucius

“Art for Heart’s Sake” is a short story written by Reuben Lucius “Rube” Goldberg, an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, who lived between 1883 and 1970. He is best known as a cartoonist and a founding member of America’s National Cartoonists Society. Collins P. Ellsworth is a wealthy 76-year-old businessman who is being treated for a form of compulsive buying disorder, otherwise known as oniomania. His uncontrollable buying habits—he can hardly suppress the urge to purchase businesses and property such as grocery stores and railroads — have precipitated a host of mental and physical problems. Dr. Caswell, his…...

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The Outcast of Poker Flat Book Review

Do you think people can control how or if the die; even if inevitable? This unique story by Francis Bret Harte "The Outcast of Poker Flat", has a grey western setting. Harte explores the mind of a gambler who is exiled from a warped town. Two literary devices regionalism and naturalism content is evident throughout, giving the story a feeling of hopelessness of survival. The regionalism in "The Outcast of Poker Flat" separates the characters from the town in such…...

Analysis of Dickens' use of irony, satire and humour in Oliver Twist

There are multiple examples throughout Oliver Twist of irony, satire and humour. Although a dark novel, there are many moments of humour and an extraordinary amount of chuckling, giggling and knee-slapping by characters. Each of the literary techniques of humour, irony and satire, employed by Dickens help add focus and depth on the various conflicts between the novels outcasts and its established society. It is impossible to cover all avenues within Oliver Twist that might be considered as humorous, satirical…...

Irony in Guy de Maupassant’s “The Jewelry””

Introduction “Expect the unexpected,” is something that I heard many times. We should follow this rule while reading different genres of writing, because writers use irony to keep readers’ attention, and make their works more interesting. This research paper deals with one of Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Jewelry” and with his virtuous ability to use irony in it. It is sometimes said that we live in an age of irony. Because nowadays even politicians in their speeches use…...

Social Irony in Connell’s Short Story “the Cage Man”

Social Irony in Connell’s Short Story “The Cage Man” Irony can be defined as a double significance which arises from the contrast in values associated with two different point of view (Leech and Short, Style in fiction; 223). The most usual kind is that which involves a contrast between a point of view stated or implied in some part of the fiction, and the assumed point of view of the author, and hence of the reader. In the Richard Connell’s…...

"On The Sidewalk Bleeding"

On the Sidewalk Bleeding “On the Sidewalk Bleeding”, by Evan Hunter is a story about a boy from a gang, getting murdered in a dark alley, by members of the rival gang. It is written in the third person omniscient point of view. The story focuses on the theme of realization of one’s true identity. This theme is depicted with the help of several literary devices such as symbolism, to create depth in the meaning of the story, thoughtful use…...

Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King

All throughout the play, Oedipus the King, Sophocles builds the entire story using dramatic irony. Despite Oedipus’s ignorance about who he is, Sophocles uses dramatic irony to let the readers know who Oedipus truly is and to hint at what all will take place throughout the entire story. Sophocles uses many different scenes throughout the play that portray dramatic irony. Although, the three most important are Oedipus’s curse towards himself, Oedipus’s insult to Tiresias, and the fortune-teller’s prophecy about Oedipus.…...

Literary Elements in a Book Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five "The true test of comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter." Choose a novel, play, or long poem in which a scene or character awakens "thoughtful laughter" in the reader. Write an essay in which you show why this laughter is "thoughtful" and how it contributes to the meaning of the work English author George Meredith wrote, “The true test of comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter.” Slaughterhouse-Five would have been quite the comedy in Meredith’s…...

Author Exploration Paper on Writer's Biography

Born on December eighteenth, 1870, Hector Hugh Munro was the third child of Charles Augustus Munro, an inspector general in the Burma police. H.H. Munro’s mother, Mary Frances Mercer, was killed a mere two years after her youngest son was born. She was killed by a runaway cow in England (Merriman). After her death, H.H. Munro and his siblings were raised in England by their two aunts and grandmother. These three adults were often the inspiration for many female characters…...

Summary of A Short Story The Kugelmass Episode

“The Kugelmass Episode” opens with Kugelmass, a middle-aged, unhappily married humanities professor seeking the advice of his analyst, Dr. Mandel. He is bored with his life, and he needs to have an affair. His analyst disagrees, however, telling him “there is no overnight cure” for his troubles, adding that he is “an analyst, not a magician.” Kugelmass then seeks out a magician to help him solve his problem. A few weeks later, he gets a call from The Great Persky, a two-bit magician/entertainer who shows him a “cheap-looking Chinese cabinet, badly lacquered” that can transport the professor into any book,…...

Dramatic Irony in A Play An Inspector Calls

An Inspector Calls How does Priestley build the drama and tension in this extract The extract is from page 47 starting 'MRS B: I'm sorry she should have come to such a horrible end. But I accept no blame for this at all' In this extract, JB Priestley builds drama and tension through the use of dramatic irony. Mrs Birling does not realise until the very end of the scene that her own son is responsible for Eva Smith's pregnancy.…...

Puritan Irony in Early Colonies

Irony is when there is a situation that is strange because things happen in a way that seems to be the opposite of what you expected. A good example of the word ironic was when New England was settled. Two good examples of the irony during the settlement of New England were the religious and political repressions. The religious repression in New England was a great example of irony. This is so because Puritan separatist groups moved across an ocean…...

Diction, Imagery, Detail, and Syntax (DIDS) in Poetry—Worksheet

Instructions: Analyze the text you selected and fill out the following worksheet in detail. Provide specific examples from the text that support your analysis. 1. Write the title of the text you have analyzed here: "When I Was Fair and Young" by Queen Elizabeth I circa 1585 2. List at least three examples of diction in the text that add to the overall tone. Explain how each word contributes to the emotional power of the piece. "Fair" and "Young" are…...

Lamb to the Slaughter by Mary Maloney

Mary Maloney shows to be an interesting character in this story. She fits well with the dramatic paradox, tone, symbolism, and the general theme of the story since of the fantastic characterization done on her character. Dahl, at the start of the story, establishes the facility that the reader need to exclusively understand with her character. Constantly, he keeps building the pretense that she is a sweet, innocent lamb (which is a major theme); just capable of following the followers…...

Literary Analysis on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”

Shirley Jackson bewildered the world when her short story “The Lottery” was published in The New Yorker magazine. The piece got a great deal of negative reaction for its shocking and gruesome story. Readers didn’t know what or why Shirley Jackson wrote this piece. She said she wanted to show the story with a “graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.” She wrote a piece about a town that continues the tradition of killing…...

Office Space Analysis

The trailer for Office targets a mature audience of working individuals who are ill of their monotonous day-to-day regimens of going to their awful jobs. This trailer truly relates to males and females who being in traffic, have frustrating managers, and go to tasks they dislike. The mature audience of the movie would likewise take pleasure in the sarcasm used by the narrator in the trailer and comedic adult referrals. The trailer specifically relates to individuals who comprehend the dreadful…...

Analysis of Short Story Bartleby, the Scrivener

The narrator's initial self-characterization is important to the story. He is a "safe" man, one who takes few risks and tries above all to conform. The most pragmatic concerns of financial security and ease of life are his priorities. He has made himself perfectly at home in the modern economy: he works as a lawyer dealing with rich men's legal documents. He is therefore an opposite or complement to Bartleby in many ways. He is also ill suited to be…...

Short Story A Good Man is Hard To Find

In the short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner, the reader is taken on a journey and tags along with a self-centered family as they explore the sights of the rural south while en route to their destination, a family vacation in Florida. As they travel the dusty road, O’Connor (2012) takes them from heaven, “all at once, they would be on a hill, looking down over the blue tops of trees for miles around,”…...

The Portable Phonograph - Paradox, Symbolism, and Irony

‘The Portable Phonograph’ tells the tale of four men in a post apocalyptic world who gather once a week to bask in the glory of the arts. This short story by Walter Van Tilburg Clark holds hidden meanings and metaphors underneath the descriptive language and various literary techniques. The theme explores the idea that it is human nature to revert to primitive or basic instincts in a time of great crisis. The writer clarifies this theme through the use of…...

The Museum of Vain Endeavours

In the short story, “The Museum of Vain Endeavors,” the author sarcastically points out humanity’s fixation on human failures. Also, he suggests that mishaps rather than paying tribute to successes and achievements. Humanity’s fixation on human failures is based on one’s trying to something with the best of intentions, but is really meaningless. In the beginning of the story, a man as a narrator shows how much he is engaged in spending a whole day in the museum and examining…...

Satisfactory Conclusion to Much Ado About Nothing

Look again at Act V Scene 4. To what extent do you find it a satisfactory conclusion to the play? Act V Scene 4 is a satisfactory conclusion to the play Much Ado About Nothing because it includes certain conventions of comedy; an example being the happy ending when Hero and Claudio are reunited and Benedick and Beatrice’s love is made public. There is dramatic irony within this scene as deception is used as Hero pretends to be her ‘cousin’,…...

Irony In The Story "The Eighty-Yard Run"

Mr. Christian Darling, a well-respected high school athlete and handsome man, had an interesting - rather ironic - change in his life from the beginning of the story to the end. In The Eighty-Yard Run, a story by Irwin Shaw, the focus is on Mr. Christian Darling and his high school sweetheart, Louise. In high school, they were always together, and Louise always bought Christian Darling many nice gifts. As time passed and high school ended, Christian and Louise got…...

Comparison of O'Connor's and Faulkner's Short Stories

I chose to write a comparison essay on Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and William Faulkner's "Barn Burning". Both of these stories share central characters with similar personalities as well as similar themes and conflicts through the stories. The Grandmother, in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find", is an old woman with old-fashioned ideas and manners. She considers herself to be a good person, but she is also very selfish and manipulative. She makes up…...

Irony in O'Connor's Story A Good Man

Throughout Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard To Find", hints are given to the readers that foretell what is in store, foreshadowing the grotesque ending that is to come. These insinuations of the forthcoming become coincidences later in the story when they actually do develop into reality, creating mocking irony. The names within the story can be considered foreshadowing themselves. For example, the name of the town where the family is murdered is called "Toombsboro." The word "Toombsboro" can…...

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Analysis

One of the most central issues in 'The Merchant of Venice' is that of the antagonism between the Jews and the Christians. The unconscious, inborn dislike of cultures which jeopardise our way of life. Ever since people have left their homelands to settle in other places there has been conflict between different cultures. So, in the play, Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano and many more of the Christians feel resentment towards Shylock the 'alien'. This is partly because of the trap that…...

Irony in Ozymandias

Shelly produces a wonderful piece of irony in Ozymandias. When looking at Ozymandias we should look at the Greek breakdown of the name. "Ozy comes from the Greek 'ozium,' which means to breath, or air. Mandias comes from the Greek 'mandate,' which means to rule," notes Biterman in his analysis of the poem. The fact that the derivative of the great Ozymandias's name is Ruler of Air is where the irony begins. When one looks upon what was written on…...

A Visit of Charity by Eudora Welty

Paradox is making use of words to reveal something various from and frequently opposite to their actual meaning. Eudora Welty successfully uses this literary method to elucidate the style of the story, "A Check out of Charity". The title "A Go to of Charity" is rather ironic. Charity implies to reveal compassion and sympathy towards others; however, nobody in this story does such a thing. There are no charity from Marian's, the nurse's, the two old girls, and the whole…...

The irony in George Orwell's "Animal Farm"

The last sentence in the book Animal Farm relates to the book in so many ways. First I must say that in the end the pigs became what they hate. The pigs slowly became just like Jones throughout the book. They even broke their own thought up commandments and changed them. They believed they were more important than all the rest of the animals on Animal Farm. Napoleon became the leader and worked the animals even harder than Jones did.…...

Discuss the role of the fool in "King Lear"

In 'King Lear', the Fool is a character of dramatic importance in the play. The Fool helps the reader, and in Shakespeare's time would help the audience, to understand what lies beneath the surface of certain actions or verses. He equally strives to make Lear 'see'. The Fool may be a very intriguing character and very often a complicated one but his role is necessary in 'King Lear'. The Fool plays three major roles; one of these roles is that…...

Janice Galloway Short Stories

The story is told from the perspective of the adult narrator looking back on a key incident from her early childhood in which she and her neighbourhood were threatened by the unpredictable aggression of the local "bogeyman" ironically named Fearless. The first level of conflict in "Fearless" is between the public and Fearless. This arises out of Fearless's lack of respect for the "norm" of society. He is extremely rude and aggressive "...he lived in a state of permanent anger."…...

"The Painted Door" By Ross Sinclair

Ross Sinclair used, the literary device, irony in many ways throughout his short story "The Painted Door." This short story takes place in the great depression of the 1930's in Saskatchewan during a horrific blizzard. Two of the three characters, Ann and Steven, are the main cause of most of the irony expressed in this short story. The irony is what makes this particular short story so tragic and dramatic. There are several examples of irony that dramatically affected the…...

Drama and Thriller "Lamb to the Slaughter"

Drama and thriller, among the most crucial things an author requires in their story to keep their audience entertained. Without these two aspects in a story or movie, the audience would quickly get bored. In order to build drama and thriller specific literary gadgets are needed. In the narrative, "Lamb to Massacre", the author Roald Dahl develops this remarkable story by utilizing images, paradox, and strong character interaction, therefore producing thriller and a little humor. Among the literary gadgets that…...

Jane Austen's Use of Irony in Pride and Prejudice

Irony is the art of expressing two meanings simultaneously; the obvious surface meaning the majority will regard as the only meaning and on a deeper profounder meaning which lies behind the obvious. The tension created by this ambivalence can be and has been put to a variety of uses. Ironies abound in Shakespeare, so do they in Dryden and Poe.Shakespeare employs them to underscore the tragic plight of a man, while Dryden and Pope use them to mock at human…...

Dramatic irony in Of Mice and Men

The major irony in Of Mice and Men is that George kills Lennie because of their friendship. George kills Lennie to spare him from a worse death. George complained about Lennie and his defects, but realizes his importance only after his death. Once Lennie is dead, George loses the weight of responsibility Lennie caused him, but he is also lonely. Also, Lennie and George's dream to own their own farm that is carried out throughout the novel dissapears with Lennie's…...

Irony In The Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's Use of Irony in The Canterbury Tales In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer compiles a mixture of stories on a pilgrimage into a figurative depiction of the medieval society in which he lived. Chaucer's stories have a punch and pizzazz, which, to an average reader, seem uncommon to the typical medieval writer, making his story more delightful. Certain things account for this pizzazz, especially the author's use of irony. Many of Chaucer's characters are ironic in the sense that…...

Dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet

There are many instances in which William Shakespeare shapes our modern works of art and literature, doing so by remaining the most spoken playwright of his century. Besides his many privileges, he had used some literary elements that have great discussion in the present day, such as his usage of irony, foreshadowing, unconscious hypocrisy and other literary elements. They are used today as well, but in the past centuries, the combination of those elements was the technique which was the…...

Friendship in Gregory By Panos Ioannides

Panos Ioannides wrote a story about loyalty, friendship and irony, which he called, simply, "Gregory." The story takes place in Cypriot prisoner of war camp, during their war with Britain, from the perspective of a Cypriot guerrilla. An English prisoner named Gregory develops Stockholm syndrome, where the captor and captured form a positive bond. When his execution is ordered the guerrilla's must choose between their friend and their loyalty to their country. The irony of it is that no one…...

'The Necklace' and 'The Gift of the Magi'

'The Gift of the Magi' by O. Henry and 'The Necklace' by Guy de Maupassant are two short stories that share some similarities. Namely, they are both ironic. The two main characters in both also happen to be husband and wife and make sacrifices for their spouse. The husband in 'The Necklace' is a 'thrifty clerk' who doesn't like to spend too much money. After implored by his wife, he gives her the money that he saved up for a…...

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