Literary element irony
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Literary Element: Irony. AP Literature and Composition. Irony. Aim: What are the different types of irony and how do they function in literature? Objectives: Understand that irony lends complexity to character, plot, and to conclusions

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Literary Element: Irony

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Literary element irony

Literary Element: Irony

AP Literature and Composition


Irony

Irony

  • Aim: What are the different types of irony and how do they function in literature?

  • Objectives:

    • Understand that irony lends complexity to character, plot, and to conclusions

    • Enhance ability to make connections and look deeper into a text

  • Do Now: What is ironic about the following short poem? What kind of irony is being used here?

    “Lines for a Christmas Card”

    May all my enemies go to hell,

    Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel.

    - Hilaire Belloc


Irony1

Irony

  • Three types of irony:

    Dramatic

    Verbal

    Situational


Dramatic irony

Dramatic Irony

  • Discrepancy is between what the speaker says and what the audience knows to be true.

  • Adds suspense to a text; audience is in on the secret and cringes as the tale unfolds

  • Example: Oedipus tries to find his father’s murderer, but the audience knows that Oedipus himself is the murderer.

  • Other examples of dramatic irony?


Verbal irony

Verbal Irony

  • Intended meaning of a work or statement is often opposite of what the work or statement literally says (similar to but not the same as sarcasm)

  • Example: Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” suggests that babies of the poor be butchered and sold for food to the English landlords in order to alleviate the problems of a starving Ireland.

  • Other examples of verbal irony?


Situational irony

Situational Irony

  • An occurrence that is contrary to what is intended or expected, a reversal of events.

  • Example: In O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” a poor young married couple celebrate their first Christmas together. The wife sells her most prized possession (her hair) for an accessory for her husband’s most prized possession, his watch. The husband sells his watch so that he can afford combs for his wife’s beautiful hair.

  • Other examples of situational irony?


Irony in a temporary matter

Irony in “A Temporary Matter”

  • Identify each type of irony in “A Temporary Matter” and find lines that support your reading

  • Get into small groups of four and share your findings

  • Discuss the tone and irony in the text


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