Irony

Plot, Character Development, Irony, and Narration in Kate Chopin’s the Story of an Hour

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Despite the fact that it is hard to be against the general public’s convictions writer Kate Chopin beats that to create a quality thought-provoking literature. Utilizing conventions of narrative stories like character development, plot development, and irony to her advantage, she lures readers into the world of emotions that the most people would not approve of. Kate Chopin proves her appreciable literary talent in ‘The Story of an Hour’ by making the plot and character development hand-in-hand and with her use of narrative irony and intriguing vocabulary.

Chopin marvelously integrates two conventions of account fiction, plot and character development. Plot is a literary term used to describe the events that make up a story, or the main part of a story. In the plot of narrative stories there is an exposition, rise to action, climax, and a fall from action. Character development is second thing that allows Chopin write such an intriguing story. Character is what stays with you after you have finished reading a story. The actions in the plot are performed by the characters in the story. Characters make something happen or produce an effect. Chopin utilizes character development to intensify the plot so much that readers can feel the emotions very closely. In the story, these are dynamically interconnected to one another.

The plot mainly takes place in the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard’s mind, which makes it crucial for readers to understand her personality and where her thoughts stem from. She is portrayed as a tender woman who suffers some heart trouble. This is important to the plot as it explains why her sister exercised caution to break the news to her. Mrs. Mallard is also described as being “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength”. This is an important piece of information as it explains why she grieves her husband’s death only momentarily. In simple words, repression means the action or process of suppressing a thought or desire in oneself so that it remains unconscious. Mrs. Mallard’s marriage was restricting in a sense that she never could express herself freely except in her unconscious. We can observe that Mrs. Mallard becomes extremely confused on hearing the news; she resists her newly acquired freedom as it is her characteristic trait of being timid and weak and powerless. As she begins to accept the feeling of liberation, she starts calling herself a “goddess of Victory”. According to Urban Dictionary A goddess is a woman who is so beautiful, brilliant, and wholesome that she is simply not like any other women on Earth and therefore possesses some sort of uncommon spiritual element that while is cannot be solidly defined it is clearly present. Mrs. Mallard begins to feel beautiful and happy as she wins the battle of wills after years of oppression in her marriage. She first shows off her newfound beauty and strength when she lets her sister in to see the “triumph in her eyes”.

The aforementioned blend of character and plot development not only to the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, but also to Mr. Brently Mallard. The only glimpse we get into Mr. Mallard’s character is from this part of the text: “Chopin writes “There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime…”. However, much more is disclosed through the passage. He was portrayed as, in contrast to Mrs. Mallard, powerful and oblivious to how he was tormenting his wife. As the other minor characters don’t play a major role, they are left to the reader’s imagination.

Chopin employs irony, a fundamental characteristic of realism, to bring surprise and to deepen the plot. ‘The Story of an Hour’ turns on a progression of guileful regulated ironies that come full circle in the end. There are quite a few instances of this, starting with of Mr. Mallard’s friend Richard taking the time to affirm his name with a second telegram, and afterward toward the finish of the story things being what they are, he isn’t even associated with the accident. Another irony is from Mrs. Mallard’s perspective: “She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long”. Her wish was answered and when she discovered she quickly had a deadly heart attack. Moreover, Chopin presents us with the biggest irony: the use of word ‘joy’. Mrs. Mallard feels a “monstrous joy” of finally being free and enjoying her life. Next, doctors use it when they say that she died “of heart disease — of joy that kills”. It is ironic that Mrs. Mallard didn’t die due to the joy of seeing her husband alive but because of the worry that she might never feel the monstrous joy ever again. Using irony, Kate Chopin really creates an exemplary example of Realism literature.

Irony isn’t the only thing Chopin uses to enrich “The Story of an Hour”. She also delegates metaphor, narrative style and intriguing vocabulary. Mrs. Mallard’s heart trouble can be interpreted as a psychological issue due to less than ideal marriage rather than a physical ailment. Chopin uses “new spring life”, “delicious breath of air”, “blue sky showing through the clouds”, “drinking in a very elixir of life”, “summer days”, et cetera to describe Mrs. Mallard’s feelings towards her husband’s death. She also uses the metaphor: “an open window’ she sits at in the beginning of the plot. The window here means a window into the perspective of the protagonist rather than a part of the setting. When Mrs. Mallard says she “would have no one follow her”, she means she would have no one interfere with her new life again. These are all tools Kate Chopin uses to paint a wonderful picture of emotions of a woman for the readers.

By interconnecting plot, characters, irony and beautiful narration, Kate Chopin gives us an invaluable piece of literature that will be praised for a long time to come.

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Irony As The Main Literary Device In Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Irony as a literary device has been used in order to achieve a sense of reality within works of fiction. It can be seen a sort of contrast between the surface meaning of something that is said or done and the actual, underlying meaning of the utterance or action. People often use it in day-to-day conversations or as a technique to overcome a stronger character. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, irony is one of the main literary devices used in order to achieve the effect of that time in history upon the reader, which in turn has made it into one of the most widely known works of nineteenth century English literature.

Whether you would expect it or not, the book itself starts with an ironic utterance immediately, at the very beginning of the first chapter:

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’

This very well might be the most famous ironic statement of the book, however, one that a number of readers have interpreted it on a literal level. This case of verbal irony used by the author is meant to hint at the kind of society that was present at the time, which in turn makes it a critique of the same, showing dissatisfaction and disagreeing. To start with, not every ‘single man in possession of a good fortune’ is looking for a woman to marry. Actually, in that time, it was the women who were the ones looking for a husband with a sizeable fortune to marry, in order to secure their own future. Needless to say, in those times, women did not have a lot of rights or means to survive, having marriage as the only safe solution.

Whilst on the topic of absurd utterances, like the above mentioned one, the following dialogue portrays an even more ‘sensible’ behaviour that quite a lot of readers, including myself, did not pay a lot attention to and did not see it as an example of irony:

‘‘Don’t keep coughing so, Kitty, for heaven’s sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces.’’

“Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose”

Once emphasized as an example of irony, one can clearly see that the content of this conversation makes no real sense. The first part of this extract is Mrs. Bennet scolding Kitty for coughing, saying that she cannot stand her coughing due to her fragile nerves. However, the witty Mr. Bennet, after a few moments allows Kitty to cough. The irony here might be too obvious, which is the reason why I could have missed it on the first reading of the book.

As we all know, coughing is not a voluntary bodily action, so there is no need to ask for permission to do it. This is yet another example of verbal irony, which is an ironical response to Mrs. Bennet unnecessary lashing out at Kitty for coughing.

Another type of irony which is considered to be one of the finest ways of using this literary advice, is the irony of character, meaning that particular character, with their behaviour, ways of thinking and mannerism are a representation of irony, kind of a ‘walking irony’. The character of Mr. Collins is one of those, and the following statement of his portrays it perfectly:

‘You ought certainly to forgive them as a Christian, but never to admit them to your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.’

Mrs. Collins is a clergyman at the estate of his patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and the above mentioned utterance is an advice which he gives to Mr. Bennet as a response to finding out about Lydia’s flight from home. As a clergyman of the church, his position is meant to be that of a leader within the religion, offering guidance and support and teach the doctrines of that religion.

However, this does not seem to be the case when it comes to Mr. Collins. The notion of forgiving, which should be based on his religious background, is completely wrong. He completely goes against what religion is meant to stand for and most importantly, he unconsciously contradicts himself, making him a prime example of irony of character within this novel.

On the topic of forced marriages, the union of Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas and the way it came to be, is another example of irony in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

“My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking. There is in everything a most remarkable resemblance of character and ideas between us. We seemed to have been designed for each other”

In order to see the irony here, one needs to know the background of this union, which was made out of convenience. After proposing to Elizabeth Bennet, a proposal which was almost instantaneously rejected, Mr. Collins proposes to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s very close friend. Seeing as this proposal comes right after the first one was rejected, it was obviously the easiest thing to do in order for Mr. Collins to have a wife and Charlotte to have a secured future.

However, Mr. Collins statement that their marriage was the perfect one, and that their characters coinciding is definitely not the reason why they are getting married, as Mr. Collins does not even pay any attention to Charlotte, before being rejected by Elizabeth. Hence why, this is yet another instance where Austen masterfully depicts a picture of the time she wrote in and its society and a critique of the same.

The following dialogue is an example of irony in the novel, however the centre of the irony is Elizabeth, quite unexpectedly, as she has been described, for the better part of the novel, as someone that is quite aware of her surroundings and not being easily manipulated by others.

“This is quite shocking! He deserves to be publicly disgraced.”

“Some time or other he will be — but it shall not be by me. Till I can forget his father, I can never defy or expose him.”

This dialogue is a conversation between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Wickham, in her aunt’s home, discussing on the topic of Mr. Darcy and his late father. He describes his relationship with Darcy’s family and the things that happened between them. To start with, the irony here can be seen in the statement Wickham makes: ‘Till I can forget his father, I can never defy or expose him’. The statement itself is a contradiction, because after telling Elizabeth everything about what occurred between him and Darcy’s family, he says he cannot expose him, which he in fact does.

However, Elizabeth is the centre of this ironic occurrence, as we, the readers, can instantly realise that he does the exact opposite of what he says he is doing. Although, Elizabeth does not realise what Wickham is actually doing as a consequence of being overwhelmed by the information she had just come to know.

This novel is full of countless ironic instances, which have been masterfully portrayed by the author, Jane Austen. Having used all types of irony, verbal, situational, dramatic and most importantly, the irony of character, she has managed to realistically portray the time of her existence and the type of society she lived in.

By using just this one simple literary device, Austen has created a beautiful work of art in a form of a book which has been praised by so many critics of her time and our time, today. Because of the way this book is written, the topics and themes it covers and the way in which the characters develop throughout the novel, the author has created a masterpiece which transcends time.

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Analysis of Kate Chopin’s Irony

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In most stories and poems, they tend to include irony. Irony plays a big role in stories, giving readers a gasp or a surprise for not expecting what is to come. Although there are many stories with irony in them, Kate Chopin’s “The storm” and “Desiree’s Baby” include a significant amount of irony. For example in the short story “ The storm” many important facts are hidden from the readers, only to show up at the end of the story, also Chopin uses irony with certain descriptions given throughout the entire story. In “Desiree’s Baby” Chopin talks about death, racism and heritage. Kate Chopin’s use of irony, is what make her beginnings, middle and endings all the more captivating.

Kate Chopin’s short story “Desiree’s Baby” has an inexplicable amount of irony. For example the story centers around race and heritage. In the text it states “The passion that awoke in him that day, when he saw her at the gate, swept along like an avalanche, or like a prairie fire, or like anything that drives headlong over all obstacles.” Armand is very prejudice to black people, he has fallen in love thinking that he would have a child with a white women and the outcome would be a white child. The irony is that after everything, he receives backfire from all of this because his child is not fully white. He later finds out this his ancestors were African and that is the real irony. Armand was in denial throughout the whole story, deep down I believe Armand knew this information, but kept it as a secret. Armand is afraid of what the public eye would perceive him as if they were to find out the truth. Armand holds power and a title, and he would not dare risk being caught red handed. Armand continues to punish Desiree and his child for his own mistakes. Armand later finds a letter written from his parents revealing that he has mixed blood, and then goes on to blame God for being this way. It is also ironic that once he found out his child was mixed, he made sure to tear Desiree down, not knowing he was going down with her. In the text it states “It is a lie; it is not true, I am white! Look at my hair, it is brown; and my eyes are gray, Armand, you know they are gray. And my skin is fair,” seizing his wrist. “Look at my hand; whiter than yours, Armand,” she laughed hysterically. “As white as La Blanche’s,” he returned cruelly; and went away leaving her alone with their child.” The end of the story is the real irony because Armand eventually loses everything, he has lost not only his wife and child but his family’s name.

Although race and heritage was the center of “Desiree’s Baby”, religion also played a part in the story creating even more irony. For example the text states “My mother, they tell me I am not white. Armand has told me I am not white. For God’s sake tell them it is not true. You must know it is not true. I shall die. I must die. I cannot be so unhappy, and live”. Although the story does not state that Desiree and her baby die, death and religion is the irony present. Desiree displays a sense of boldness in her attempts to defy her God, this is also irony because acting this way in the mid-nineteenth-century in Louisiana would have been considered heretical.

Kate Chopin’s “The storm” there are many signs of irony. For example Chopin writes “Calixta put her hands to her eyes, and with a cry, staggered backward. Alcee’s arm encircled her, and for an instant he drew her close and spasmodically to him.” Chopin’s tries to convince readers to feel bad for her, when in reality there is more to her than what meets the eye, as the saying goes. Throughout the whole storm Calixta is displaying her emotions, making readers believe she is worried about her child and husband. While they are dealing with the storm, Calixta’s true identity shows when she commits an act of adultery, even though she claims she is worried about her family during the storm.

Another sign of irony is the storm, and how it gave many opportunities. For example, Calixta would not have seen or committed any adultery if it were for the storm “She had not seen him very often since her marriage, and never alone,” so because of the storm, it gave her an opportunity to do “dirty work” and have an affair. Calixta eventually realizes that she is a mother and a wife, yet she continues to have an affair with Alcee. To furthermore, she pretends to show concern for her husband and child y, the text states “Oh, Bobint! You back! My! But I was uneasy. W’ere you been during the rain? An’ Bibi? he ain’t wet? he ain’t hurt? She had clasped Bibi and was kissing him effusively.” Another sign of irony in “The Storm” is Calixta’s four-year-old child (Bibi), he is perceived to be brave and he is not frightened by the storm. For example in the story, ‘Bibi laid his little hand on his father’s knee and was not afraid”, this is a comparison to Calixta, who is a grown woman and the mother of Bibi, ye she all control due to her own fears.

However, the relationship between Calixta and Alcee is much deeper than it appears, their acts of adultery and the passion they shared was because of the storm. The story ends with everyone happy and secrets kept. The storm is not only the setting, it is also the center of the irony. For example Calixta and Alcee find themselves in each other’s arms, then the story proceeds to explain and depict their sexual interaction, ultimately ending the story with a secret affair. From the beginning of the story to the climax then the end, the storm matches the scenery throughout the whole story. The last few stanzas in the story is the ultimate comparison to the storm. The text states “As for Clarisse, she was charmed upon receiving her husband’s letter. She and the babies were doing well. The society was agreeable; many of her old friends and acquaintances were at the bay. And the first free breath since her marriage seemed to restore the pleasant liberty of her maiden days. Devoted as she was to her husband, their intimate conjugal life was something which she was more than willing to forego for a while. So the storm passed and everyone was happy.” Concluding that “The Storm” is the real irony present.

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An Analysis of Irony in the Unknown Citizen, Rite of Passage and Bully

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Writers often use many tools while writing. Irony is just one example. When writers want their words to have a double meaning, they use irony. It is often clear when the words of the narrator or character of the writing is different from the meaning that the writer is implying. Irony is present in the poems, “The Unknown Citizen” by W.H Auden, “Rite of Passage” by Sharon Olds, and “Bully” by Martin Espada.

In the poem “The Unknown Citizen”, Auden’s use of irony is easy to see. In this poem he is describing a citizen who is essentially unremarkable. This person has not done anything wrong, and describes him by saying, “and all the reports on his conduct agree, that, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint”. The fact that he has written a poem which is praising someone for being so mediocre is ironic in itself. Another use of irony in this poem is when Auden says, “Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd: Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.” With this quote, Auden is saying that there could be nothing wrong with this citizen. However, because of his use of irony, his words have another meaning. Auden is implying that even though he lived a boring life where he did no wrong, it doesn’t necessarily mean he was completely happy.

“Rite of Passage” by Sharon Olds includes irony as well. This poem talks about children at a party, but holds a deeper meaning. When Olds describes the scene as “a room full of small bankers, they fold their arms and frown,” this is an example of irony because while it sounds like she is describing adults, she is actually describing the children. Another example of irony that Olds uses in this poem is when she says, “like Generals, they relax and get down to playing war, celebrating my son’s life.” This line shows her use of irony because WWII was happening when this poem was written. War is obviously a terrible thing, but this example is ironic because the children are casually playing it, having a good time, and doing it all while celebrating her son’s birthday. A birthday is the celebration of another year of someone’s life, but these children are playing a game that is about death.

The poem “Bully” is another good example of a poem that contains irony. Espada describes this school by saying, “now the Roosevelt school is pronounced Hernandez”. Espada continues by saying that “Roosevelt is surrounded by all the faces he ever shoved in eugenic spite,” which is an example of his irony. This is ironic because this school was named after Roosevelt, someone who participated in the Spanish-American war. However the children that now fill the school are spanish speaking children. They depict the type of people that Roosevelt fought against, but now they attend his school and “plot to spray graffiti in parrot-brilliant colors across the Victorian mustache and monocle”.

Writers and poets often use irony in their work. It is a tool used to make their words have multiple meanings. Sometimes it can be hard to see at first. “The Unknown Citizen” by W. H Auden, “Rite of Passage” by Sharon Olds, and “Bully” by Martin Espada all are poems that include good examples of the use of irony.

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The Role Of Irony In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

What is irony, first of all? Irony is saying the opposite of what one actually means by using words. Miller has a sarcastic tone in The Crucible. This sound has to do with humor when we refer to each other. Sarcasm means reproach or sarcastic criticism. The reason Miller writes in such simple humor is because he needs the reader to see it and know it. The explanation Miller writes in such simple cases of humor is because he needs the listener to see it and know something. Most of the humor situations are because it reveals that the characters in the novel are almost always dishonest and have no real proof.

There are many examples of irony in the Crucible. The definition of irony is- Events that are or seem deliberately opposite of what someone expects or wants and is usually funny as a result of it. A few examples are when everyone was lying about other people being witches or practicing witchcraft when everyone knew that those people weren’t witches or involved with witchcraft. Late in the third act, Elizibeth lies about John’s adultery just to protect his reputation. Both Elizbeth and John were highly respected in the Salem community. They were caught lying and committing adultery. So as a result, Elizbeth lied to protect John.

Miller uses irony to create tension in important scenes in The Crucible. The use of irony is to develop tension for the readers. Elizbeth is known for being honest and holds honesty to a high standard. It was unexpected that she would lie. When Elizbeth lies to protect John, she didn’t know he already admitted to committing adultery. When Hale forced John to recite the ten commandments. John couldn’t name adultery. It’s ironic in the end because he had an affair with Abigail and Elizbeth lied to protect him. Adultery was handled very harshly back then. The most simple form or irony in the Crucible is when John was asked to recite the ten commandments to prove that he was a true Christan. He is able to get nine of them. He cannot, for whatever reason, recite adultery. Whether that was because he forgot or whatever. He, not much later, commits the same sin or law, however you want to look at it.

In conclusion, Miller added irony into The Crucible for many reasons. If you look hard enough you can find many examples of it. He wrote it in a way to show that appearances can be deceiving. Using verbal irony to create confusion and situational to add tension between characters. Maybe he wanted the readers to understand that to see through people and what they say, you must face reality head on.

Essay Score 13/20

Focus

2/4

Organization

3/4

Voice

3/4

Sentence Structure

3/4

Evidence and Details

2/4

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Edgar Allan Poe’ Use Of Irony In The Cask Of Amontillado

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Edgar Allan Poe was an American short-story writer and critic who is best known for his fantastical horror stories and genre-founding detective stories. Poe considered himself primarily a poet.

Although in most of his works his narrators are unreliable and sound insane, it is not necessarily because Poe was exorcising his own demons. It is more likely that he was writing the kinds of stories that he knew would attract and hold readers. In the “Cask of Amontillado” we have a classic example of such story. As in several of Poe’s works, and in accordance with the 19th century’s fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around a buried person, in this case, by building.

In this macabre and horrifying tale that describes a carefully crafted cold-blooded murder, we can also find several situations in which irony is interwoven in a subtle or obvious manner.

Irony is a subtle humorous perception of inconsistency, in which an apparently straightforward statement is undermined by its context so as to give it very different significance. In various forms, irony appears in many kinds of literature, from the tragedy of Sophocles to the novels of Jane Austen and Henry James, but is especially important in satire, as in Voltaire and Swift. At its simplest, in verbal irony it involves a discrepancy between what is said and what is really meant, as in its crude form, sarcasm. The more sustained structural irony in literature involves the use of a naïve or deluded hero or unreliable narrator whose view of the world differs widely from the true circumstances recognized by the author and readers; literary irony thus flatters its readers’ intelligence at the expense of a character (or a fictional narrator).

Already from the setting we can learn that the author intent is to slide elements of irony among the elements that tell of a horror story. The action happens during the carnival, a time for dancing and drinking. In contrast to the setting, the plot of the crime becomes ridiculous.

The second element of irony in the writing is the name of Montresor’s friend- Fortunato; it is obviously derived from ‘’fortunate”. Not only that he is unlucky and he is going to be buried alive, but there is one more layer of irony: the name Fortunato usually belongs to some saints and martyrs in the Catholic world, while Fortunato engages in drinking and debauchery, thus being far from sanctity.

Montresor meets his friend “about dusk” and he greets him in a very friendly manner by saying “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking today.” Montresor’s attitude towards is a duplicitous and ironical one: he says he met him by change and gladly, while actually planning carefully every step to Fortunato’s death. Also, Fortunato wears a jester costume – “He had on a tight-fitting party dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and the bells” and yet Montresor pays him compliments on how well he looked.

Next, Montresor lures his friend to his cellar by saying he has received a cask of Amontillado and wants Fortunato’s advice on whether the wine is genuine or not. It is well known that a true wine connoisseur should perform his tastings only when sober, while Fortunato, although enthusiastic, already “had been drinking much”.

They descend together into the “vaults” and the air becomes toxic, the walls of the cellar being “encrusted with nitre”. The salt and the dampness of make Fortunato have a cough seizure. Ironically/mockingly, Montresor shows signs of worry at his friend’s sickness and urges him to go back to the “palazzo” saying that his health is precious, but Fortunato is sure he will not “die of a cough” and vows to see the Amontillado.

Another sign of irony is derived from the scene when Montresor picks a bottle of Medoc from his cellar’s shelf and drinks to Fortunato’s “long life”, while actually seeing him to his death.

While walking further into the catacombs, Montresor picks another bottle of wine, this time called DeGrave, and offers it to his friend in an attempt to cure his cough. Here again we have a double layer of irony introduced by the author. First, the name of this particular wine contains the word “grave”. Second, DeGrave it is said to have been a more expensive and more fine wine than the Amontillado, revealing the fact Fortunato was an amateur when it came to recognizing wine.

Finally, Montresor chains Fortunato in the farthest room of his cellar. The way in which Montresor performs this action could be interpreted as a parodic inversion of crucifying, a detail which might lead us to draw the conclusion that this was a revenge in the name of Christ, by the ironic substitution of the referent with the opponent (i.e. a francmason, the buffoon Fortunato) – Cutitaru.

One of the last ironic inferences is when Montresor utters the words “For the love of God” while finishing the work of building a tomb around Fortunato, which is against the foundation of Christian religion – “God is love” – and also against one of the commandments “Thou shalt not kill”.

At the end of the story, after burying his friend alive, comes the most disturbing pieces of ironic details of the whole text. Montresor’s heart “grew sick” but not because what he did – he shows no signs of remorse after committing the murder – but invoking “the dampness of the catacombs” as the main reason.

Finally, after 50 years, Montresor confesses his crime. While doing that, he adds the words “In pace requiescat”, a phrase which means “Rest in peace” and is usually used by priests. But spoken by Montresor, these words can be considered ironic; after burying his friend alive in a tomb, he wishes him sarcastically to rest in peace.

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Characters’ Defects And Flaws In Flannery O’connor’s Good Country People

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People” exemplifies characters’ defects ironic to the title. Rather than highlighting goodness, O’Connor focuses on the bad traits the characters carry. An ideology of Christianity is that one must have a healthy mind, body, and soul, otherwise one may be lacking in faith. This is true of Manley Pointer and Joy-Hulga. Hulga’s encounter with Manley Pointer illustrates that deformities, both real and fabricated, are indicative of a destitute of religion. Joy-Hulga’s prosthetic leg is symbolic of her detestable personality. Her life revolves around her defect, prompting her to have a mean disposition toward everyone. Even her mom says so, though she excuses her poor attitude, “Because of the leg (which had been shot off in a hunting accident when Joy was ten)”. This affects her life even enough to cause her to change her name, from Joy, a beautiful name to fit her personality as a child, to Hulga, “The ugliest name in any language”.

Joy-Hulga’s life is unfulfilled in the eyes of her mother, despite her getting a Ph.D. in philosophy, which did not make Mrs. Hopewell, her mother, proud. Due to the nature of the accident, Joy “had never danced a step or had any normal good times”. In spite of this, she worked hard to obtain a Ph.D. in hopes of making her life meaningful. As described by O’Connor in a consequent essay on her work, “By the time the Bible salesman comes along, the leg has accumulated so much meaning…He has taken away part of the girl’s personality”. The remotion of the prosthetic leg, while an abatement of Hulga’s personality, additionally made her vulnerable. Hulga is humiliated in order to recognize her state of sin, “thus open to grace and redemption”. In other words, she is an atheist given the opportunity to become a believer of god. Initially, Hulga is a character who “Attempts to live autonomously, to define herself and her values”. As the story progresses, her bad attitude is her most defining characteristic, specifically as a result of her leg, as previously noted. Manley Pointer makes Hulga feel comfortable enough by hiding his wickedness, so he can influence her later. The intent of the manipulation is to make her comfortable enough to remove her prosthetic, then take advantage of her. “Without the leg she felt entirely dependent on him.” All of his supplies were prepared in advance, hidden in his bibles. “The cover was hollow and contained a pocket flask of whiskey, a pack of cards, and a small blue box with printing on it”.

In the story, characters are written as lacking spirituality, regardless of how tangible a proposed defect is. The concept of a character lacking spirituality as evident by a defect is an idea displaced throughout the story in various ways. One such example is with Hulga. She has a physical defect and lacks spirituality as well. She believes in science and physical rather than mystical or mythical. Ultimately, despite her attitude, Hulga is not written as a bad person. As mentioned by O’Connor in her essays about her work, “Some of the protagonists in these stories look perfectly normal; others have a physical deformity which is symbolic of a spiritual one”. An example of such is the Bible salesperson. He mentions that he has a heart defect, but later reveals that he is lying about the heart defect. Moreover, he admits to not being religious as well as lying about his name. Specifically, he tell Hulga, “Pointer ain’t really my name… you ain’t so smart. I been believing in nothing ever since I was born!”. While the heart defect is false, he is still written as a bad person lacking spirituality. Flannery O’Connor’s work is typically full of characters with deficits and deformities. These deficits and deformities provide the basis of characterization for these characters. In some instances, these deformities aren’t physical, but the symbolism still applies.

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Analysis Of Irony And Imagery In The Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Nelson Mandela once said, “Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”. As true as this statement rings, it’s not an original one. The discussion of the oppressed woman had been around over a century before he uttered these iconic words. Many have put pen to paper in an attempt to convey their frustrations with the suppression of women, yet few did so as early and effectively as Kate Chopin. She did so with the help of many literary elements, including irony and imagery. In “The Story of an Hour”, Chopin uses both irony and imagery to convey her theme of freedom versus confinement. As the story begins to unravel, it become abundantly clear that the reader’s expectations are about to be challenged. It comes as quite a shock to see Mrs. Mallard be so excited at the prospect of being free from her husband after his death. In most stories, love is considered to be the ultimate goal, yet Mrs. Mallard feels completely differently. “What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!”. This captures the theme of freedom because she holds more value in her own independence than love for her husband. Chopin uses detailed descriptions of Mrs. Mallard’s feeling of freedom to truly capture how liberated she feels. The lead describes her sense of self as “drinking the very elixir of life”. The word elixir is often used in mystical stories as a means to showcase healing properties and almost always is used as a saving grace. Therefore, its’ use here lets the reader know freedom seemed like to Mrs. Mallard that her husband’s death was an antidote to her suffering.

The ending of the story is the most ironic component of the story due to Mrs. Mallard’s untimely death. It is especially ironic that the lead was dreaming of her new freedom and hoping for a long life mere sentences before she dies of her heart attack. “Her fancy was running riot along those days ahead of her….She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long”. This is a perfect example of the author’s theme of confinement battling freedom as her promise of freedom is very short-lived. It seems almost as if the cruel world never had any intentions of freeing her and seems as if she will stay forever confined. After learning of her husband’s death, at the beginning of the story, Mrs. Mallard’s movements are illustrated by Chopin as particularly restricted. When she goes to her room and sits in her armchair, “she (sinks), pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul”. However, as the story winds down and she comes to terms with her newfound liberation, her moves are far more graceful. Mrs. Mallard rises “at length” with “a feverish triumph in her eyes… carrying) herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory”. The stark difference in how Chopin chose to describe the leads descent into the chair versus her ascent from it showcases the character development in a few short paragraphs. Through the author’s use of vastly different imagery, it is easy to identify the change in Mrs. Mallard’s demeanor.

Although the concept of freedom and the concept of confinement are very much opposite, Chopin proves they are destined to coexist. For if there was never any confinement, how could anyone grasp the idea of being free? Through her use of imagery and irony, Kate Chopin illustrates the balance and struggle between the two antonyms in a way few authors had done before and set a precedent for those who came after.

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Irony In “Once Upon A Time” By Nadine Gordimer

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The essay “Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer, is a moral story about the racism in South Africa that occurs between the wealthy and the poor. Gordimer explains this story came about when someone wrote her and said that “every writer ought to write at least one story for children. ” The story depicts a wealthy white family continuously investing in security measures in order to keep the poor, who they deem to be dangerous, out of their home. This essay unveils a large amount of irony as the story progresses. This allows readers to better understand the conflicts that arouse when a community consistently makes decisions about a social class that are based on the actions of one member of that same social class.

The irony in the “Once Upon a Time” begins with the name of the essay and first words of the children’s story. The words once upon a time are a “fairy tale approach and style” and they create a certain expectation that comes along with those words. The irony in that is the disastrous ending that is very unusual for a story that starts with such a cliché name and title. The fact that this family, “who felt extremely insecure in the changed environment and who inculcated imaginary fears within themselves, and in order to keep themselves protected from the wronged black populace” they put a huge fence that had barbed wire on the top just to feel comfortable. The ending of the story with the boy dragging a ladder to wall, climbing it and getting extremely hurt and possibly even dying is not exactly the result they expected from that fence.

The biggest example of irony that I see, is that she is supposed to be writing a children’s story; as you can tell this story is anything but meant for children. At the end of Gordimer’s story, the boy who lives in the house, has the idea to fight a dragon like the knights in his children’s stories. He begins to try and climb the fence around his home that is named “DRAGON TEETH, ” as he climbs he becomes entangled in the barbed wire. As the boy tries to get out he just gets pulled deeper into the barbs causing scrapes and cuts all over his body.

I believe that this part of Gordimer’s story is meant to serve as a warning. The majority of children’s stories end happily, with the hero coming out unscathed. This causes children to believe that all of their adventures will be successful, and the world is a happy place without any conflict that cannot be resolved.

The story “Once Upon a time” is a warning to the community not only about the nature of storytelling to children about major conflicts but also to the South African audience that the conflict of the state is not getting any better and you shouldn’t just expect it to go away because this isn’t a fairytale, this is reality and we have to do something about it and she communicates a lot of this through irony.

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The History of Aesop’s Fable the Lion and the Mouse

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

For centuries, cultures around the world have used fables not only for entertainment but as a method to teach significant moral lessons. Fables have given cultures an opportunity to highlight their moral values and provide individuals a path to practice their traditions through their minds and hearts. One of the most prominent fables to emerge from Western culture is, “The Lion and the Mouse”, which is commonly attributed to Aesop. This fable has remained a favorite since its fabrication because of its simplistic yet enduring moralistic principles. Aesop’s allegorical fable has continued to transcend its ancient roots to offer our revolutionizing society a timeless scenario that emphasizes the need for mutual dependence. This fable begins with a robust lion peacefully sleeping in the forest. Soon a feeble mouse stumbles upon across the lion, disturbing his slumber. Aggravated, the lion attempts to kill the mouse until it fearfully implores the lion for forgiveness with the promise to aid him in the future. The lion disregards the mouse’s proposition and decides to spare him from death. A few days later while on a hunt, the lion is caught off guard by a hunter’s net. Roaring in anger, the lion grabs the attention of the mouse that he had overlooked earlier. Without hesitation, the timid mouse gnaws one of the ropes holding the lion hostage. The fable swiftly ends upon the lion’s freedom and the mouse exclaims, “You laughed… Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion” (Aesop).

The history of this fable is so perplexing that scholars can only theorize its origins, a sharp contrast to the fable’s simplistic tale. Like other fables, “The Lion and the Mouse”, was a story believed to have been traditionally passed down orally and evolved with each reiteration. The first recording of this fable was collected within, “Aesop’s Fables”, and is attributed to the ancient Greek figure known as Aesop. There is little evidence to suggest that Aesop was a real being, but scholars have theorized that Aesop may have been a former slave before becoming a fabulist during the mid-sixth century BCE. Even though Aesop may be regarded as more myth than a man, he was still a prominent legend in Greece because his fables became a pillar of ancient Greek culture. Fables such as, “The Lion and the Mouse” served as a cornerstone of education that conveyed moral principles to Greek children. Interestingly, fables such as this one were often politically charged and “served as a code by which the weak and powerless could speak out against the strong and powerful”.

As with most fables the moralistic principal of, “The Lion and the Mouse” lends itself to few interpretations into how it is supposed to be observed. The most commonly accepted moral from this fable is that every being has value and the ability to act with kindness. This is demonstrated through the lion’s pompous behavior and the mouse’s timid and gentle nature. If the lion had continued seeing the mouse with little to no value, he would have fell prey to the hunters net himself. The selflessness of the mouse is also a contributing factor in the lion’s freedom. Essentially, this fable serves as an allegory to condemn passing judgment through preconceived notions.

Through countless reiterations, Aesop’s fable remains as relevant today as it did centuries before due to its abiding concepts of kindness and seeing value in others. This fable is chiefly relevant among children as the symbolic tale delivers a model that offers guidance for children developing their emotional skills for empathy. Moreover, when children show value towards their peers, they not only find value within themselves, but they establish trust and confidence amongst themselves. Since reading this fable in my childhood, I have recognized its increasing relevance through my personal experience. I have learned that approaching situations with kindness requires more strength and courage than any other approach, and the results are always more satisfying. Additionally, I have realized that valuing others is not only empowering, but others are more likely to gravitate to your compassionate character.

However, instead of focusing on a specific age group or my personal experience, it is more meaningful to envision how this fable could further benefit our society. As society becomes progressively interdependent, it is fundamental that each citizen shows compassion and develops an attitude that every being has value. If every individual could overlook gender, color, and socioeconomic status we could start dismantling the disconnect felt amongst our society and begin establishing a more peaceful world. Unfortunately, the morals of this fable cannot solve every problem in society because qualities such as kindness still suffer from some of our worst human attributes such as greed and egoism. Some people are so blinded by their own avarice and arrogance that no amount of compassion or appreciation can move them. This renowned fable achieves its goal by having the reader recognize the significance of the morals that it strives to communicate. This simplistic fable allows its audience to imagine a world where there is no greed or selflessness but a world where everyone treats one another with compassion and respect. To start achieving this kind of peace, we must start with ourselves and choose to lift others up and choose to give others the benefit of the doubt.

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