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Situational Irony In O’henry’s The Ransom Of Red Chief And The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant

793 words - 4 pages

Situational irony is used in both O’Henry’s “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant but the effect of the techniques on the tone of each story is very different. In O’Henry’s story, the protagonist, Red Chief, is being kidnapped by two criminals, Bill and Sam. There are many ironic events that occur in the story. For example, the reader expects Red Chief to want to go back home to his family but instead, he is having the time of his life. As hard as Bill tries, he cannot even send him home. Bill utters to Sam, “‘I showed him the road to Summit and kicked him about eight feet nearer there at one kick’” (6). This is comical because it is using a literary technique ...view middle of the document...

In a letter sent from Red Chief’s parents to Bill and Sam, Red Chief’s parents state, “I hereby make you a counter-proposal, which I believe you will accept. You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars, and I agree to take him off your hands. You had better come at night because the neighbors believe he is lost. And, I could not be responsible for what they would do to anybody they saw bringing him back.” (7) This statement is amusing because in a sense, Dorset, Red Chief’s parent, is threatening Bill and Sam. They know what a handful Red Chief is and are bribing Bill and Sam to bring their son back for their own ransom of two hundred fifty dollars. The reader would expect Dorset to pay the ransom so he can get his son back. Bill is thrilled to pay the money and agrees to it immediately.The situational irony creates the more humorous tone of the story.
In Guy de Maupassant’s story, situational irony is used to make the tone sad. Madame Loisel desperately wants to be in a higher social class. She decides to borrow her rich friend’s diamond necklace when she is going to a...

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