Situational Irony In Cathedral By Raymond Carver

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Renowned author, Raymond Carver, skillfully weaves dramatic and situational irony throughout his short stories, Cathedral, Neighbors, and They’re Not Your Husband. Situational irony is when the opposite of what is expected to happen, occurs. In Cathedral, and They 're Not Your Husband situational irony is amply evident. Dramatic irony is when the audience knows something that the characters do not. In Neighbors and They’re Not Your Husband, dramatic and situational irony are both utilized. Readers can appreciate the subtly placed examples of dramatic and situational irony throughout the works of Carver. Cathedral by Raymond Carver is the story about a blind man, Robert, who visits a husband and wife in their home. One would expect the husband…show more content…
After hearing a few men talk about his wife’s body, Earl confronts his wife and advises her to lose weight. He suggests that Doreen stop eating but later consumes food right in front of her, which is an example of situational irony. An example of dramatic irony in They’re Not Your Husband has to do with why Earl even confronts Doreen about being overweight. Why does Earl care so much about the way his wife looks? Why does Earl go out of his way to inform his wife that she’s fat? Earl himself isn’t aware of this, but the audience is. He is insecure. Earl doesn’t have a job and has gone to numerous interviews but no one is willing to employ him. Earl internalizes public adoration about his wife’s figure as acceptance for his own shortcomings. He is rather particular about her diet, because he subconsciously fears the unmasking and embarrassment of his own heavy burdens. Towards the end of the story, Earl was sitting at the counter of the coffee shop where Doreen works. He asked the man sitting beside him about his thoughts on Doreen, “What do you think of that? Don’t you think that’s something special?” (Carver 29). In a way, Earl is so buried under the weight of his own worries that he psychologically projects this onto his wife’s weight. He needs to hear it from others in order to boost his confidence and give himself assurance. This is an example of dramatic irony because only the audience is aware of why Earl is so obsessed with his wife’s

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