Situational Irony In 'The Ransom Of Red Chief'

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Emotions Created by Situational Irony Surprise is an emotion that leads to other feelings. Situational irony uses surprising twists to create other emotions. For example, “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry uses situational irony to instill humor in those who read the short story. Guy de Maupassant also uses situational irony in “The Necklace,” but the feeling he creates is one of justice. Both short stories, when analyzed, show the effect of situational irony on a reader’s emotions. In “The Ransom of Red Chief,” O. Henry utilizes situational irony to evoke humor. In the majority of situations, kidnapped children are miserable, but in this short story, the kidnappers have a terrible time while their captive has the time of his life.…show more content…
Mathilde Loisel thinks she should be incredibly wealthy. However, by the end of the story, she is completely impoverished. Madame Loisel is introduced as “. . . feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury” (1). Her conceited belief that she not only wants riches, but deserves them, is what ultimately leads to her losing everything she had. The reader gets a feeling of satisfaction and justice when her arrogant mentality is brought to a sudden halt. Situational irony also is used when Mathilde and her husband work so hard to return a fake diamond necklace. Mathilde has her night of extravagance with high class officials wearing her friend Madame Forestier’s necklace. When she loses it, her and her husband find another just like it, but since they cannot afford it, they must take out loans from whomever they can. After ten years of paying off their severe debt, Mathilde runs into Madame Forestier again and comes clean about losing the necklace. When Madame Forestier realizes how much her friend had worked to return her necklace, she says “‘But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs!’” (10) . This realization adds to the sense of justice the reader gets. She still longs for total riches, even in abject poverty, ignoring all of the events that come after her night of wealth. Mathilde’s self centered belief that she should have riches means that the
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