As we look into ourselves, we can see that we, as individuals, aren’t perfect and we do make mistakes that we can learn from if properly handled. Life is full of irony as shown in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, and “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. These three (3) literary works portay many examples of irony by creating imagery that reflect what is going on in the story. There are many types of irony that are explained throughout all of these texts. These types of irony are situational irony (occurs when the actual result of a situation is totally different from what you’d expect the result to be), dramatic irony (occurs when the audience knows a key piece of information that a character in a literary work or movie doesn’t know), and verbal irony (occurs when a speaker’s intention is the opposite of what he/she is saying). These all play key roles in how the plot of each of these stories are formulated due to these literary elements.
The irony in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is the expecation that winning the lottery is an amzing moment in a person’s life, but the reality of the situation in the story is completely the opposite due to certain circumstances. Before even reading the passage, the reader is led to believe that since the passage is titled “The Lottery”, the reader thinks that someone is going to win some great monetary payment of some sort and they’re going to be happy, but as you read this passage, it becomes very dark and evil because of the primitive version that the “lottery” holds due to social order and the severity of “control” in this society. In the passage, all of the townspeople that are “of age” pick out a piece of paper from a black box and whoever has the piece of paper that has a black dot scribbled on it, that person is chosen to die by the means of being stoned to death. These were very primitive means of controlling the population of societies in earlier times. Everyone is happy at the beginning of this ceremony, but the reality of the situation is that this ceremony is very evil and horrific. Another ironic piece of information is how the introduction of setting is characterized as “clear and sunny”. The townspeople are happy as if it was another “ordinary” day. Foreshadowing the death of Mrs. Hutchinson was kind of ironic as well because, in the text, it states:
“Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix–the villagers pronouced this name as “Dellacroy”–eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys.”
Basically, the boys were unknowningly handpicking stones for the death of an individual. The reader would assume that these were the daily shenanigans of the common children that resided in this community.
In the story “The Story of an Hour” by Shirley Jackson, the irony that is presented is how the way that Louise reacts to the news of the death of her husband, Brently Mallard. Its ironic because, in that type of situation, you would imagine that the wife of a husband would be crying over the death of her husband, but she runs upstairs, locks herself into a room and rejoices at the fact that her husband is dead and she has her freedom. While considering the sequence of events, in that matter of time that suggest that Bently Mallard is dead, Mrs. Louise Mallard has been fully “reborn” and has the aspiration to “come alive.” Another example of irony in the literary work of “The Story of an Hour” is in the text, it states:
“She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her”.
Josephine is concerned about the well-being of Mrs. Mallard and that she has locked herself in her room and is making herself ill when in actuality, she’s in there thinking about how great her life’s going to be. This is portrayed by how she describes what she sees as she looks out of the window.
In the story of “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, irony is apparent in this literary text because of how Mathilde Loisel was engulfed by her own insecurities because of what her friend, Madame Forestier, had in her possession. Jealous drives you to do some crazy things, but in the case of Mathilde Moisel, she took some very bold measures when it came to her appearance. Essentially borrowing a very expensive necklace is a bold move because of the big risk factors that come with that. The iorny in the worth of the necklace is how the Loisels take on the great responsibility of an immense debt in order to gain the money to replace an “expensive” necklace that was, in actuality, a fake. The simple fact that the reason why they were in the predicament because Madame Forestier had the “longing” for better possessions. Another example of irony is how Madame Loisel was unhappy with her status in life because of the amount of income she had. She didnt have the life that she wanted, but the irony of the situation is that she didnt like the lfe that she had, but in the end, she ultimately had a life that was even worse than the one she had before the necklace was lost. Another example would be how Madame Loisel responds to her husband (Monsieur Loisel) giving her the invitation to a high-end party. In the text, it states:
Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring:
“What do you want me to do with this?”
This would be described as situational irony because usually you would perceive the wife (Madame Loisel) as being happy to go to a(n) high-end party/gathering, but she gets mad at her husband (Monsieur Losiel) for getting the invitation without thing about the fact that she has nothing to wear in order to attend this gathering.