Irony a Common Theme

Topics: Irony, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Fiction Pages: 2 (659 words) Published: January 6, 2012
Although they have very different plots with vastly different different characters, a common theme is cleverly intertwined by the authors of the following stories. “The Interlopers,” by Saki narrates a duel between two neighbors, torn apart by their forefather's grudge. “Gimpel the Fool,” by Isaac Bashevis Singer, is told by a man thought of as a fool, and forgives all those who mistreat and abuse him. The play “Pygmalion,” by Bernard Shaw shows the story of a normal flower girl becoming an upper class lady, and all the woes that come with it. “The Interlopers,” “Gimpel the Fool,” and “Pygmalion” all share the common theme of irony. Even in such different contexts, irony is seen in these tales.

“The Interlopers” has an ironic ending that shocks the reader. Saki starts the short story with Ulrich von Gradwitz seeking his nemisis, Georg Znaeym in a vast forest he calls his own. The reason for such hate would be many generations before dispute over land and game, which was still existed. When they both face each other, they are both prepared to kill one another, until a tree falls on them. After endless bickering under the tree, Gradwitz tells Znaeym, “Neighbor, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel I- I will ask you to be my friend,” (4) who then agrees. After this, “The Interlopers” abruptly ends with the two men ironically being eaten alive by a pack of wolves.

In “Gimpel the Fool,” the main character, Gimpel, is treated as a fool all his life in a village, and doesn't let it bother him, which further convinces the townspeople of his ignorance. This is ironic since Gimpel is actually the smartest of the bunch by thinking to himself, “let it pass” (1) even though he is labeled throughout the story as a fool. Till the end, the village makes a fool out of Gimpel, through forcing him to marry an outwardly unfaithful woman to acting to his face as if they don't know that all children born from her have different fathers. Finally, after his wife's death,...
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