A major literary element is this story would be irony. The whole story is really ironic. The story revolves around a family and their infant who has only been home for a few months. There is a baby, the most visible form of innocence, who turns out to be a murderer by the end of the story. At the beginning of the story, it seems as if the Alice may be crazy. As the story progresses, the baby begins to seem a little less innocent than was originally thought. The irony is that the innocent child is really and evil master mind. The innocence that is usually seen from a child is replaced with evil. Irony is seen in other places in the story. There are instances where Alice talks about killing the baby before he had the chance to kill her. One day when David went on a business trip, Alice attempted to kill the baby. Alice said, “… I went to his room and put my hands on his neck; and I stood there for a long time, thinking and afraid. Then I put the covers up over his face and turned him over on his face and pressed him down and left him… but when I came to see him dead, David, he was alive!” (Bradbury). She was g...
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...lling spree. As the title implies, the baby is a small assassin. Assassins are secretive and are able to avoid being caught. The baby could have gotten away with the whole thing if he would have been able to get back to his crib. What Bradbury does is takes an absurd story and makes the reader think; is it possible for a child to be born evil?
Bradbury is a great writer. He puts so much thought into each word. Nothing is placed in the story as a filler. “The Small Assassin” is a great story for college level sophomores to read. When choosing a good story for a class, it should quickly draw the readers in. This story does that. It includes literary elements that are good for teaching: irony and foreshadowing. It also parallels Bradbury’s other works of art. It is one of Bradbury’s highly praised short stories and promises to have readers on the edges of their seats.
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