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The Use of Irony in Barbara L. Greenberg's The Faithful Wife

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The Use of Irony in Barbara L. Greenberg's The Faithful Wife

"The Faithful Wife" by Barbara L. Greenberg is a fascinating, satirical account of what the speaker would do if she were unfaithful to her husband. Upon the first reading of this poem, I thought the woman in this poem was saying that her husband was irreplaceable and because of that she would never be unfaithful. Also I thought that if she did betray him, she would choose someone totally different from him, which somehow wouldn't dishonor this great man. However, with repeated reading, my opinion changed. Greenberg did an incredible job of revealing the truth of the situation. She used verbal irony to explain how the wife in the poem is actually revealing the relationship she does have with her husband and describing the type of relationship she would like to have.

Greenberg uses more formal diction to convey her message in "The Faithful Wife." The poem is not written in everyday language. It is missing the colloquial elements of contractions and slang. While it seems to be a conversation anyone could have, it is no...
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