The Wrath of Irony

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"...irony trumps everything."

-Foster, page 128

And so it may seem logical, but irony is indeed a force unlike any other when it comes to literature.  There are, of course, obvious ironies that seem to scream to the audience, but even more compelling are the subtle ironies that weave themselves throughout literature and stories, in general.

A wonderful example of such is given by Foster on page 130.  He speaks of Gabriel Marcia Marquez's story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings".  I recall reading that story in high school and wondering about the old man and the priest who questions him.  The priest concludes that the old man is not an angel of God because he does not understand Latin, and yet, Jesus spoke Aramaic.  The subtle irony of the ignorant priest's assumption nullifies his thought process.  Simple little details can make a great difference.  Foster reminds us, the audience, that even small details can make a huge difference.  Irony can be everything from the seatbelt wearing driver crushed by a billboard, to General Patton survivng WWII only to die in a car accident several weeks later.

 http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/04/foster_ch_15-17/ 

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