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The Cop And The Anthem By O. Henry

1065 words - 5 pages

Hannah Shoshan
Ms. Colello-Kim
Honors English I
5 April 2014
To start off, an example of irony to send a message is shown through the first attempt Soapy takes to go to jail for the winter. Soapy’s ideal winter is spent on Blackwell’s Jail, The Island, rather than finding a shelter because he does not like how the shelter pry into his personal affairs. Now comes the tough part for Soapy, getting admitted by the police into the jail. The very first attempt he makes, is to go to an expensive restaurant and do what is called today, “dine and dash”. However, at first glance of Soapy’s frayed rousers and broken shoes he was thrown out, before he could steal any food. Upon entering the restaurant, ...view middle of the document...

With this in mind, Soapy picked up the closest rock and threw in right into a shop’s window. The excitement was pulsating through Soapy’s body and he was ready to feel the tight handcuffs wrapped around his wrists as he stared down at the shattered pieces of glass. But much to Soapy’s surprise when the nearby police officer came to investigate the crime scene, “The policeman’s mind refused to accept Soapy even as a clue. Men who smash windows, do not remain to parley with the law’s minions. They take to their heels” (O. Henry 21). Soapy’s unexpected result made it clear that Soapy was continuing to receive the opposite of what he wanted in the end. The irony in this example is focused more on the build up that Soapy had immediately after breaking the window only to be let down dramatically. Moreover, the ironic build up of each of Soapy’s actions shows the pattern shown through Soapy’s actions. For example, Soapy does not seem to get the results he deserves and every crime he commits in hop to be caught “creates a reaction opposite to the one he wishes” (May). The irony in Soapy’s actions is a reflection that when one wants something to a certain degree, it becomes predicted that he/she will not receive that something until they do not expect it. Soapy wants to be arrested for breaking the window, but the police go after a completely innocent man instead. Even after experiencing such disappointment, Soapy continues his journey to The Island.
Additionally, the ironic situations continue to unfold when Soapy tries again by eating a restaurant but not paying the bill. But as seen in previous examples, Soapy does not get the punishment he expects and hopes for. In fact, Soapy asks the restaurant owners why they do not call the police, but instead the call their security and, “Neatly upon his left ear on the callous pavement two waiters pitched Soapy. He arose joint by joint, as a carpenter’s...

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