In the story “The Yellow Sweater” the author uses various elements of irony in order to demonstrate that when you are vulnerable power can be rewarding until it is abused.
At the beginning of the story the protagonist, a proud salesman emphasizes how his successful business trip has been. The character displays confidence as he stops for nothing admiring his appearance of a thriving moneymaking middle-aged man. “The success of his trip and the feeling of power it gave him carried him along toward the triumph of his homecoming” (pg.24). The man drives by numerous hitch-hikers turning his head but stops when he sees a good-looking young girl walking along the side of the highway. “Why should people pay taxes so that other lazy bums could fritter away their time roaming the country, getting free rides, going God knows where?..They stood a fat chance of him picking them up” (pg. 24). It is ironic the main character paints an image of hitch-hikers being like scum and not worth his time when on the next page he slows down for a women hitch-hiking. The main character feels superior to others by driving his big car and has the choice to stop for whom he wants, to no surprise he stopped for a young beautiful girl.
She gets in the car and he begins to question her, details about her personal life that were clearly none of his business but because he held the power of the wheel he had the right to ask them. “There was a sense of power in being able to question her like this without fear of having to answer any questions himself.”(Pg. 27). This is ironic because if roles were reversed, he could not control the situation with his power by always being the one to ask the questions. Although the young girl seemed protective and frightened at the beginning it doesn’t take long for her to warm up and feel completely comfortable around him. “It seems so safe here, somehow.” (Pg. 28)
During their drive they stopped at a restaurant to dine when the salesmen created the...
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