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Theme Of Irony In The Drunkard

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Irony: Hiding a Serious Topic with Humour Alcoholism is a mental illness that is related to addiction, and difficult to free oneself from. In Frank O’Connor’s, “The Drunkard”, it becomes clear that the author uses irony as a means to show how alcoholism disrupts ones family, and affects them both socially and mentally. Due to Mick’s lack of responsibility, the Delaney family is often misjudged, and this also creates some tension between the family members when he goes to drink. For example, the mother must find work so they can afford for Mr. Delaney to attend the funeral and Larry prepares to return his father home. These are both examples of how Mick distresses his family mentally and socially. Furthermore, the reaction from both Mr.…show more content…
Throughout their time at the pub, Larry is aware of all the signs, showing that he will have to drag his drunken father home later that night, and this is not a responsibility that a child should bear. The fact that Larry has to be responsible for his father, is ironic, as usually the parental figures are more responsible, and the ones to teach responsibility to their children. As well, the irony of Larry, a child, ending up drunk, shows the reader that Larry’s desensitization to alcohol and its affects have affected him mentally. The author also uses irony to show the moment of recognition when Mick realizes how he acts due to his son copying his actions. This moment is monumental in the story, as it is both imitation and irony, and shows the reader how Mick truly feels about his drinking, and his epiphany. After seeing his son throw up from alcohol, he then proceeded to drag him home with annoyance. After his epiphany, Mick said, ““Never again, never again, not if I live to be a thousand!”” (O’Connor, 302). This shows the irony of Mick exclaiming to never drink again, although the drinking usually began due to a build-up of spiritual pride and believing that he was better than his neighbours. Another way that the author uses irony is when Mick is dragging Larry home, and gets embarrassed by his son’s actions: “Who are ye laughing at?...Go away, ye bloody bitches!” (O’Connor, 302). After this episode, comes Micks has an epiphany about how he acts when drunk, and later swears off the drink. This is also humorous as it is a reversal of expectations, but in a non-traditional way. The author used the humour to make light of a serious situation, a child being drunk. Lastly, Larry’s ‘holiday’ until his eye healed is ironic as most parents would want their child to get back to regular life, and learn from their mistakes. Mrs. Delaney decided to give him a holiday and rest instead which is a large
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