Honors English I
30 November 2012
Any skillful author has hundreds of tricks up his or her sleeve for successfully conveying the theme of the story to readers. One of the most effective methods in doing so would be through the use of irony, both situational and verbal. When an event occurs to the contrary of what the reader might have been expecting, the plot thickens, adding a twist or creating a higher level understanding of the story. Irony can also expose a character’s true self and the situation he or she has brought about. For example, if a character’s actions cause an event to occur that is the exact opposite of what he or she would have wanted to happen, then the reader clearly sees the mistake made or the lesson to be learned. “The Interlopers” ,“The Gift of the Magi”, and “The Necklace” all incorporate situational irony as a literary device that complements the theme of the story and enhances the experience for readers.
Written by Saki, “The Interlopers” is a story centered on two men named Ulrich von Gradvitz and Georg Znaeym who hate each other on the basis of a multi-generation family feud. Despite the inadequacy of the desired land, the two men are sworn enemies who confront each other in forest, bearing hunting rifles and the intention of killing the other. Before a shot can be fired, “Nature’s own violence overwhelm[s] them, and a mass of falling beech tree thunder[s] down on them.” (Saki 263) The situational irony in this unfortunate event is that the two men are trapped and stuck together on the land that they have been arguing over ferociously for decades. Because of their own differences and obstinate characters, the two men have never even considered a relationship that would remotely resemble friendship. Now, the land itself is forcing them to mediate after all these years. The fact that they are able to reconcile their differences fairly easily and quickly shows how ridiculous and...
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