The Use of Irony in the Stone

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Irony is an important literary device in many stories and there are many examples of it in “The Stone Boy” by Gina Berriault, Animal Farm by George Orwell, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In all of these works, irony plays an important role in the plot of the story. In “The Stone Boy”, the title of the story is a good example of irony. The title indicates to the reader that Arnold has no feelings and is like a stone. The irony here is that Arnold cares more about Eugie than anybody, he just doesn’t know how to express it. Although Arnold did not start out as a “stone boy”, by the end of the story the other characters’ actions forced Arnold to “build a wall” around himself so his feelings couldn’t be hurt anymore.

George Orwell also used irony in the plot of Animal Farm. In the beginning of the story, Old Major talks about rebelling from Mr. Jones “administration”. Mr. Jones’ way of running things was in a sense a form of capitalism. The animals had an idea about a socialist form of government. This existed for a short period of time when the animals had all the power. When Napoleon took charge, he gradually gained power and after a while the farm was soon under the rule of a capitalist. This change in government ultimately led to the downfall of the farm. This a good example of irony, because capitalism was the thing the animals were trying to get away from, and in the end it led to their downfall. At another point in the story, when Boxer is being taken to the “hospital”, he is really being taken to a slaughter house. The animals think that Boxer’s life is going to be saved, when it was really being taken away from him.

In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses different forms of irony in many ways. First of all, the Friar marries Romeo and Juliet to end their families...
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