Dramatic Irony In The Boarded Window

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“The Boarded Window” was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on April 12th, 1891; Bierce made some revisions before including it in Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (1892). To briefly summarize this story, a man named Murlock lives alone in the wilderness in a house with a boarded window. The narrator explains that the window was boarded up sometime after Murlock’s unnamed wife died. The narrator goes on to describe the strange events that happened the night after Murlock prepared his wife’s body for the grave. While Murlock watches over the dead body, a panther enters the cabin. Murlock attempts to shoot the unknown creature in the dark, after which he falls unconscious. Upon awakening the next morning, he discovers a piece of…show more content…
Between the teeth was a fragment of the animal's ear. ” This means that Murlock’s wife put up a fight with the panther, also meaning that she regained consciousness. This is situational irony because we all expected Murlock’s wife to be dead in the first place, we also expected the blood to be dried and coagulated, not fresh. Dramatic Irony: The reader could probably assume that after Murlock notices the panther and shoots his gun in paragraphs 11 and 12 that some kind of strange result would occur. We know this, but unconscious Murlock does not. After Murlock wakes up, he was appalled by the sight of his dead wife. The use of irony and diction help build the mood of the story, while symbolism gives the author a chance to look back and have a deeper understanding of why the author uses diction, irony, and mood. For example, dramatic irony in paragraphs 11 and 12 provided the reader with suspense and apprehension. The irony in paragraph 12 leaves the reader with a cliff-hanger, maximizing their need and curiosity for what is going to happen next. The use of diction in The Boarded Window, words give off more heavy and negative connotations. For example, the word “indigence,” which means seriously impoverished, could easily have just been “poor,” or “in need,” but Ambrose Bierce uses the word "indigence" on purpose. Bierce does this to let the reader enjoy the darkness and eeriness of…show more content…
A younger Murlock, equipped with only an ax and a rifle, built his cabin. The little log house had a chimney made of sticks, flat sheet of wood for its roofs and a single door located directly opposite a window. The cabin has been the witness to Murlock’s married life and later widowed life. One time, when Murlock came home from hunting, he found his wife with high fever. Considering that there is no physician and neighbors nearby, he was forced to nurse for his wife but to no avail. He can only do much. Following the tradition of the dead, Murlock prepared his wife for burial – fixed her hair and making the final details. Though left with the thought of being alone, not a single tear show. However, his entire being is in a state of shock and with a feeling of restlessness. It was at this state that Murlock decided to place his arms on the table and dropped his face on it eventually placing him in a deeper slumber as the night draws darker. Somewhere out, howling was heard which he ignored. Murlock felt something move the table and heard some soft footsteps. He was pushed by an unseen body that created in a scuffle. He tried to reach for a flash and rifle amidst the
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