Situational Irony In The Drunkard

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In “The Drunkard” by Frank O’Connor, situational and dramatic irony are used in the story in order to illustrate Larry’s leadership and maturity and Mick Delaney’s negative behavior and selfishness, while also introducing a humorous element. The use of irony helps to establish the idea that alcohol causes problems within a family. Situational irony is the primary example of irony, and it adds a sense of humor to the story. Larry is the protagonist and narrator of the story, and he is the character that introduces the situational irony. While Larry describes his father, Mick Delaney, as an alcoholic, Larry is the person who actually gets drunk. The humorous element arrives when Larry feels the effects of the drink and curses out his neighbors, saying “Go away, ye bloody bitches!” The situational irony of Larry being intoxicated,…show more content…
This is best seen through the moment when Mick forswears Larry. Mick said “‘Twill be all over the road...Never again, never again, not if I live to be a thousand!’” Larry stated that he still does not know whether his father forswore him or the liquor. That statement reveals that the relationship between Mick and Larry is still tainted, even though Larry is now an adult. Mick’s alcoholism consumed him and prevented him from giving attention to what is most important: his family. The family has to adapt to Mick’s addiction, which is ultimately driving the family apart. The irony helps the reader to analyze the tarnished relationship between Larry and his father. In Frank O'Connor's short story “The Drunkard,” both situational and dramatic irony are used, but serve different purposes. The situational irony brings humor to Larry’s predicament and reveals his leadership skills, and the dramatic irony exposes the flaws of Mick Delaney. Both examples of irony help support the theme that alcohol causes family
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