Irony in Karel Capek's The Fortune Teller

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IRONY IN 'THE FORTUNE TELLER' BY KAREL CAPEK

Mrs. Myers earned her livelihood as a professional fortune teller. But as far as her legal identity as a citizen of the state was concerned, she did not have legal papers and was considered to be an alien to the state. Moreover, the exhibition of rich economic status of Mrs. Myers seemed to be incongruent with the average earning of a professional fortune teller. In fact, Mr. MacLeary came to know that Mrs. Edith Myers was a German woman and her real name was Meierhofer. So, there were ample reasons for Mr. MacLeary, an administrative official and detective, to flame his suspicion that the lady was cheating people and deserved punishment. Mrs. MacLeary was requested by Mr. MacLeary to go to Mrs. Myers in disguise of a customer for collecting some evidence. The next day, Mrs. MacLeary showed up as Miss Jones before Mrs. Edith. Mrs. MacLeary pretended that she was anxious to know about her life in future. Actually the irony in the story was comprehended by the readers in the following circumstances: i) It was seen that Mrs. Myers, in spite of being a fortune teller, could not predict that Mrs. MacLeary was of 24 years age and not 20. ii) She failed to understand the marital status of her customer. iii) She could not predict about herself that she had to go to the court and that Mrs. MacLeary was a danger to her. Finally, the readers come to know how the prophesy of the old lady, the fake fortune teller that she predicted a certain future for Miss Jones, or Mrs. MacLeary, comes true. Although the judge orders her to go back to Germany and also advises her not to practise anymore such fraudulent prediction as a professional fortune teller, yet the greatest irony is that the prophesy of the fake fortune teller comes true at the end and it takes the readers to some unpredictable climax when Mrs. MacLeary is found to have been married to a rich young businessman and have...
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