Presentation on theme: "Irony and Ambiguity Surprises and Uncertainties What Is Irony?"— Presentation transcript:
1Irony and Ambiguity Surprises and Uncertainties What Is Irony? Feature MenuSurprises and UncertaintiesWhat Is Irony?Verbal IronySituational IronyDramatic IronyReviewWhat Is Ambiguity?Practice
2Surprises and Uncertainties Writers use irony and ambiguity to create true- to-life stories. Irony and ambiguity help writers conveythe way real life surprises us, whether to our delight or to our disappointmentour lack of knowledge about the future and whether it will fulfill our expectations[End of Section]
3What Is Irony?Irony is the contrast between expectation and reality. Three kinds of irony areverbal ironysituational ironydramatic irony[End of Section]
4Verbal IronyIn verbal irony, a speaker says one thing but means the opposite. Verbal ironyis the simplest kind of ironycan become sarcasm if taken to a harsh extreme
5Verbal IronyJane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice begins with an excellent example of verbal irony.It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.How might this opening sentence be an example of verbal irony?Possible answer: Not everyone “universally acknowledges” this to be true, and the wealthy man in particular may not be looking for a wife. The people who do believe it, and who say that everyone believes it, are women who want to marry a wealthy man and parents looking for a wealthy husband for a daughter.[End of Section]
6Situational IronyIn situational irony, what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. Situational ironyis often humorousmay mock human plans and intentions, which in real life often come to little
7Situational IronyRead this sentence from Hanson W. Baldwin’s R.M.S. Titanic.. . . she was fresh from Harland and Wolff’s Belfast yards, strong in the strength of her forty-six thousand tons of steel, bent, hammered, shaped, and riveted through the three years of her slow birth.Possible answer: No one expected such a strong vessel to be vulnerable to sinking, yet it did.Explain the situational irony in this ship sinking on its first voyage.[End of Section]
8Dramatic IronyDramatic irony occurs when the reader or the audience knows something important that the character does not know. Dramatic ironyadds greatly to the tension in stories, plays, and moviesheightens the sense of humor in comedies and deepens the sense of dread in tragedies
9Dramatic IronyIn this passage from Stephen Vincent Benét’s “By the Water of Babylon,” the narrator describes the vision he has while exploring the ruins of New York City.What do readers know that the narrator does not?When gods war with gods, they use weapons we do not know. It was fire falling out of the sky and a mist that poisoned. It was the time of the Great Burning and the Destruction. They ran about like ants in the streets of their city—poor gods, poor gods! Then the towers began to fall. A few escaped—yes, a few. The legends tell it I saw it happen, I saw the last of them die. It was darkness over the broken city and I wept.Possible answer: Readers know that it was humans, not gods, that made war on each other and caused the great destruction that the narrator weeps over.[End of Section]
10Review Quick Check Identify each item as one of the following: verbal ironysituational ironydramatic ironyAfter tripping over his own feet, the teen exclaims, “That was graceful!”The movie audience knows that a hostile alien is just past the door. “Don’t go in there!” one viewer yells at the screen.The guest opens his mouth to compliment the chef, but before he can speak, he burps long and loudly.[End of Section]
11Review Quick Check verbal irony Identify each item as one of the following:verbal ironysituational ironydramatic ironyAfter tripping over his own feet, the teen exclaims, “That was graceful!”dramatic ironyThe movie audience knows that a hostile alien is just past the door. “Don’t go in there!” one viewer yells at the screen.situational ironyThe guest opens his mouth to compliment the chef, but before he can speak, he burps long and loudly.
12What Is Ambiguity?Ambiguity is the element of uncertainty in a text, in which something can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Ambiguityadds complexity to a workinvites readers to propose a variety of interpretations of a workis found in subtle language and fine distinctions in a work
13What Is Ambiguity? A work’s theme or mood may be ambiguous. If a complex work has more than one theme, the work’s meaning will be ambiguous and multilayered.A complex work may shift in tone from humorous to serious or from joyful to tragic.
14What Is Ambiguity?When a work ends in ambiguity, readers must think about what the ending means. Read the last lines from R.M.S. Titanic. How do you interpret the final four words?“The night was clear,” reported Lord Mersey, “and the sea was smooth. When she first saw the rockets, the Californian could have pushed through the ice to the open water without any serious risk and so have come to the assistance of the Titanic. Had she done so she might have saved many if not all of the lives that were lost.“She made no attempt.”Possible answer: Perhaps Lord Mersey is criticizing the captain and crew of the Californian; perhaps he is puzzled about why the Californian did not respond; perhaps he is merely reporting the facts. Any interpretation should include a sense of avoidable tragedy.[End of Section]
15PracticeInvent an example of each kind of irony. Describe each example in a paragraph. Record your examples in a similar chart.Verbal ironySay one thing but mean the oppositeExample:Situational ironyWhat happens is the opposite of what is expectedDramatic ironyWe know something a character does not know[End of Section]