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Situational and Dramatic Irony in Story of an Hour, Everyday Use, The Necklace, and The Lottery

In the stories “Story of an Hour”, “Everyday Use”, “The Necklace”, and “The Lottery” it is evident that irony was quite a large part of the short story. There is situational irony, which is when the situation turns out differently than expected. Also, dramatic irony is present, which is when you as a reader knows more than the character. The authors seem to base their whole story around irony to surprise their readers.

There are a couple of examples of situational irony that is apparent throughout “Story of an Hour“. Mr. Mallard being dead is one. The messenger comes and says that there was a train crash and Mr. Mallard was in it. Mr. Mallard is indeed not dead but we think he is but at the end he comes walking in the door. Another example is that Louise dies and Mr. Mallard lives. Louise finally feels free and she is now happy to live a long life only just a few days ago she was worried life was going to be too long. An example of both situational and dramatic irony is when Louise’s sister, Josephine is worried that she is up in her room making herself sick and wearing down on her weak heart. In truth Louise is in her room being thoughtful of how her life will be more wonderful with her husband gone. It is also clear that dramatic irony is a part of the story. Louise dies from the shock of seeing her husband who is supposed to be dead. The doctors say she died from "the joy that kills." The reader knows Louise was the furthest thing from joy when she saw Mr. Mallard. When Louise got the news of her husband’s death she started crying at once in her sisters arms. What her sister, Josephine did not know is that Louise was crying out of happiness that she was finally free of her mundane, mediocre life chained down...

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... When she is picked, she begins to yell that the process is unfair. So, for her the lottery is an example of dramatic irony. Something that she thought unimportant becomes fatal for her. When the reader learns at the end of the story that the "prize" is death, is certainly situational irony.

There are so many examples of situational irony that is clear throughout these stories Mr. Mallard being dead, Mama finally realizes that Maggie deserves the quilts because she understands her heritage better than Dee, Mathilde finding out she worked her whole life for nothing, and when Mr. Graves tells Tessie that Eva draws with her husband's family, Tessie is angry. Dramatic irony is everywhere as well. Louise dies from the shock of seeing her husband who is supposed to be dead and when Dee never wanted anything to do with her heritage until somebody was impressed by it.

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