Mr. Vogelsberg                                                                                                Adv Comp

 

Types of Irony

 

v     Irony- Irony involves a contradiction between appearance and reality.  In literature, irony is a deliberate gap between the language used and what is being discussed.

 

v     Verbal Irony- Verbal irony occurs when a character says one thing, but suggests or intends the opposite.  The contrast is between what the speaker says and what he actually means.  Verbal irony is sometimes confused with sarcasm, but sarcasm is harsh and direct, while verbal irony is implied/indirect.

 

v     Dramatic Irony- Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows more about a character’s situation than the character does, foreseeing an outcome different than the character’s expectations.

 

v     Structural Irony- A naïve or deluded hero or unreliable narrator, whose view of the world differs widely from the true circumstances recognized by the author and/or the readers.

 

v     Situational Irony- An outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected, the difference between what is expected to happen and what actually occurs.  A situation that results contrary to the reader’s expectations.

 

Irony Found in Chapters 1 and 3 of The Stranger

 

v     Verbal Irony- Page 7.  “I’ll leave you alone.”  The caretaker says this to Meursault, but the caretaker does not leave him alone.  Instead, the caretaker stands directly behind Meursault, therefore, not leaving him alone.

 

v     Dramatic Irony- Page 10-11. “After a long pause he explained, without looking at me, ‘She was very close to your mother.  She says your mother was her only friend and now she hasn’t got anyone.’” The caretaker is trying to explain the woman’s grief to Meursault.  However, we are inside Meursault’s thoughts and know that he feels no need for the explanation because he is annoyed by the woman instead of concerned for her.

 

v     Structural Irony- Page 10.  “For a second I had the ridiculous feeling that they were there to judge me.”  Meursault’s feelings of guilt and paranoia make him feel judged.  However, we know Meursault has an unreliable perception of others’ feelings and views, so this idea of him being judged is most likely false.

 

v     Situational Irony- Page 28-33.  Meursault helps Raymond and becomes his friend.  We see many examples of Meursault behaving as an isolationist, but he is still capable of making a friend.  This act is contrary to his other behaviors.