Situational Irony In 'The Ransom Of Redchief'

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Surprise can be used in many ways to conjure numerous emotions from the audience. Authors normally use a device called situational irony to provoke surprise, but surprise can come in different ways. Guy de Maupassant in “The Necklace” uses situational irony to elicit a feeling of sympathy from the reader. In “The Ransom of Redchief” by O. Henry, O. Henry uses situational irony to create a humorous surprise for the reader. After reading these two stories, it is obvious that authors use situational irony to get the readers feeling a specific way.

In “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, situational irony is used to create a sense of sympathy. Mathilde thought she should be the richest woman in Paris, but she ended up as one of the poorest.
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Henry, “The Ransom of Redchief,” O. Henry uses situational irony to create a humorous feeling. In the beginning, the narrator Sam and his partner in crime, Bill, decided to kidnap a small town boy of a nicer family to collect the ransom. The boy they choose is Johnny Dorset, son of Ebenezer Dorset. Once Johnny has been kidnapped, he starts to enjoy the life of being a kidnapped child because he is having so much fun. Johnny pleads to Sam, also known as Snake-Eye, to not take him back home. He says, “‘You won't take me back home again, Snake-Eye, will you?’” (4). It is normally conceived that a child that is kidnapped will be scared, but Johnny Dorset is not like most kids. When Sam and Bill were passing by the Dorset household, Johnny was throwing rocks at a kitten. Another ironic aspect to O. Henry’s story is that Sam and Bill must pay ransom to give Johnny back to his parents. The original plan was to collect ransom for Johnny, not to have to pay to give him back. In the letter that Mr. Dorset sent to the two men, he stated, “You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands” (52). Sam does not want to agree, mostly because this was not part of his plan to earn money, but Bill has had an awful experience with Johnny so he pays the
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