The Cop And The Anthem Soapy Analysis

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The Irony of Fate

Picture this; it is your first day of high school. You are frantically walking to try and find room 205. Everything around you is a blur as you rush from door to door in hopes that the brass numbers above will say “205”. Suddenly, the bell rings and your stomach drops. Being late for class on the first day is not only petrifying, but it is embarrassing, because everyone turns their head to stare and laugh at you when you enter the class 15 minutes late. It is official, your first day of high school did not turn out the way you had hoped, and you would have done anything to change the outcome. This scenario is some where along the same lines of a young man named Soapy’s. In the story “The Cop and the Anthem”, Soapy demonstrates
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The additional problem is that although Soapy breaks the law, he does not act like a criminal. Moreover, although he tries to be a “crook,” he keeps running into real criminals who thwart him, such as the umbrella thief, from whom he cannot steal what is already stolen, and the streetwalker, whom he cannot offend because she considers him a potential customer. Thus, Soapy seems “doomed to liberty.” “The hibernatorial ambitions of Soapy were not of the highest… Three months on the island was what his soul craved… the island loomed big and timely in Soapy’s mind.” It is clear that Soapy is more than desperate of becoming incarcerated, as he has tried six times, but each time, ending in failure. A story with an ironic, mocking tone such as this one, in which a bum who talks like a gentleman despicably tries to get himself thrown into jail but continually fails, can only end one way. As can be seen, the basic irony of this story is that as long as Soapy is “free”, that is, loose in the city, he is not free at all, because of the coming winter. If he were in prison, however, he would indeed be “free” to enjoy life without fear. And he just cannot seem to have fate go his way. Every time he tries to get a policeman’s attention, there is some sort of excuse or backfire that gets thrown at…show more content…
Soapy stands on the street near an iron fence designed to keep people like him away from the church, listening to the organ humming away at an anthem. He considers this plan for his future; however, a policeman taps him on the shoulder and asks what he is doing. When Soapy answers “Nothing”, his fate is sealed. He has been arrested for loitering. In the Magistrate’s court on the following day, Soapy is convicted of a misdemeanor, and is sentenced to three months on the island. “He would resurrect his old eager ambitions and pursue them without faltering. Three months on the island. Said the Magistrate in the police court the next morning.” We can say that Soapy is a very unlucky man when this great unfortunate event strikes. He has been wanting to become arrested so that he can easily find food and shelter for the bitter weather, as he has been doing for years, and when he finally changes his mind on becoming incarcerated and decides to turn over a new leaf and find a job which will get him off the streets, his previous wish is granted. This could indicate that Soapy was beyond redemption. His destiny was already in place and nothing, not even an amazing epiphany could change that. One could say that he did not realize that he had strayed too far from his regular haunts and that he looked
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