Situational Irony In 'The Ransom Of Redchief'

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Surprise in a story can create a whole new feeling. It can make the story funny such as in “The Ransom of Redchief” by O. Henry. It can also cause the tone to be sad and make the reader feel sympathy for specific characters like in “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. Authors use situational irony to cause these feelings. In these two short stories, both authors display situational irony to create emotions for the reader. In the short story “The Ransom of Redchief” by O. Henry, the situational irony adds a comedic element to the story. For example, when Bill and Sam kidnap a child with the name Johnny. They capture Johnny and expect him to be fearful, but he is the complete opposite. Johnny has a great time hiding away in a cave.…show more content…
For example Mathilde or Madame Loisel lives with her husband in the middle class, but she dreams of being very wealthy. They live in a small house with a servant, yet Mathilde is not satisfied. She thinks she deserves expensive pieces of furniture, parties, jewelry, and adoration from others. She sits about her home and dreams of these belongings, “She had no clothes, no jewels. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. She longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after”(1). Madame Loisel yearns to be rich and adored, but she is not. Another example of situational irony in “The Necklace” is Mathilde and her husband live in poverty for ten years trying to pay back a diamond necklace Mathilde lost. Mathilde borrows a necklace from her friend Madame Forestier, but then loses it. It will cost thirty six thousand francs to pay for a new one. They are then forced into debt, buy a smaller apartment, and lose their servant to collect money to pay back everyone they owe. After 10 years of living in poverty the necklace is finally paid back. That same day Mathilde is out when she sees Madame Forestier. Mathilde tells her about the necklace and how they have to live as very poor people. Madame Forestier then says, “‘Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs!. . .”’(8). The necklace is fake meaning that Mathilde and her husband did not need to live in poverty for the past 10 years. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant uses situational irony to make the reader feel compassion towards
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