Most irony is used intentionally, but in some cases it can be used unintentionally. Irony is used to illustrate a point which is better than just plainly saying something.The Crucible contains several examples of dramatic, verbal, and situational irony. Dramatic irony is a situation of shock or drama in a story. This irony is most understood and known by the audience/person reading it, but is not yet understood by the characters in the story or play. In Act 1 Reverend Hale visits the Proctors home in Salem.
Another example of irony in the story is situational. The narrator and his girlfriend Kim show an example of role reversal. This role reversal is situational irony because the reader would not expect the couple to act the opposite. For example, the narrator states, “She doesn't listen when I talk to her and eats standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open, yelling between bites that it's time for me to go to
Bill, Tessie, and their three kids pick a piece of paper and open it at once. Tessie has the paper with the dot. Once again Tessie argues that the lottery isn’t fair. Everyone slowly steps away from Tessie. People pick up the stones and pebbles and get closer to Tessie.
When one thinks of a lottery, they would most likely think of a great prize for the winner. Although in some cases, the prize does not turn out so great. In the short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the author uses irony to surprise and make the reading more exciting. If one were to ask what irony was, a correct answer could be that irony is when an event occurs that was unexpected. Shirley Jackson uses situational irony in this story because a plot changing event occurs that is unexpected by everyone.
When situational irony is applied to a story, there often is an unexpected twist in the plot, typically leaving a reader surprised. For instance, O. Henry of “The Ransom of Red Chief” uses situational irony in a comedic manner, whereas Guy de Maupassant uses situational irony to provide a sense of pity towards the protagonist. Nevertheless, authors tend to use situational irony to allocate sentiment. Author O.Henry of “The Ransom of Red Chief” employs situational irony to create a humorous effect within his short story. One example of this humorous irony is when the child’s kidnappers, Bill and Sam, end up paying a bounty to the child’s guardian.
Irony may appear in difference ways within literature. Irony changes our expectations of what might happen. It can create the unexpected twist at the end of a story or anecdote that gets people laughing or crying. Verbal irony is intended to be a humorous type of irony. Situational irony can be either funny or tragic.
Irony is often used in literature to illustrate certain situations to the audience. In some pieces of literature that might be pointing out an unjust system, in others that might be to add a comedic effect, but whatever situation the author wants to illustrate, irony is very beneficial. Through small and witty, one-liners, or a bigger dramatic irony situation contrasting two very different situations, irony can be very beneficial for the reader to understand the story. Both “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins have a corrupt dystopian society. Through the use of irony, the author can portray the corruptness to the audience.
Situational irony is when actions in a story have the opposite effect of what was intended. Many great novels and short stories use situational irony to set the tone or theme of the plot. There are many similarities and differences between “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry in the use of irony. For example, in “The Cask of Amontillado”, situational, verbal, and dramatic irony are demonstrated to show how Montresor gets revenge on Fortunato. However, only situational irony is used in “The Gift of the Magi”.
The short story “The Lottery” is written by Shirley Jackson. This story takes place in a small village where everybody knows each other. In this story all the villagers gather around town for their annual lottery. Everyone in the village is compelled to follow this tradition even if the outcome ends up with someone dying. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses conflict, theme, and irony to develop this suspenseful short story.
Within the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, irony is used in order to establish themes of blindness, invisibility, and race. Irony is a literary device with which the author conveys an alternate meaning to the words than is actually said. There are different types of irony that are used in writing, although Ellison primarily uses two kinds: verbal irony and dramatic irony. Verbal irony is when words are used to convey something different than what is being said and dramatic irony describes a situation in which the audience has knowledge that the characters do not. Within the novel, Ellison uses these two types of irony in order to convey the aforementioned complex themes within the book through symbolism and through the narrator's interactions with other people.