A Definition Essay Discussing Irony
By: Asiko-oluwa Aderin
Irony. I bet you’ve herd the phrase, “How ironic!” before, and understood exactly what that person was talking about. Or, you may have never heard of this, irony, and have no idea what I’m talking about. Either way, have you ever really sat down and thought, “I wonder what irony truly is…, we use it all the time, but what makes something ironic, and why is it so easy to use and understand?” Well, good question, I’m glad you asked! Irony is like a paradox. It is the staggering occurrence of events, which were not expected to happen. Not only do people have real life experiences with irony, but authors use it in literature because it is humorous, and easy to relate to. In my essay, I will be going into more detail about what irony is, an example of irony in my life, and why irony is so commonly used in literature.
According to https://dictionary.reference.com/ (dictionary.com) irony means," The use of words, used to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning…” Another definition is, “An outcome of events contrary to what was or might have been, expected.” Basically, irony is the opposite of what you expect to happen. Irony is very easy to find and relate to once you know what it is. For example, say you didn’t know what irony was, and you had to select a random definition essay to read, written by another student. You picked this one. This situation is ironic because you didn’t know you would be reading a definition essay on irony, which would answer your question on what irony was! Again, once you realize what irony truly is in its full potential, you will have a magnificant time pointing out all the ironic happenings in your life.
An example of irony in my life you say? I’m glad you asked! There was this one time… My family, my cousins, and I went to Dorney Park this summer. We were extremely excited; because this was the first time any of us had gone. Once we got there, we rode all kinds of roller coasters. We were in paradise! What a perfect day to enjoy the summer sun, but we soon realized the fun was soon to end... Once we had gone on all the dry rides, it was time for the good stuff…WATER SLIDES! Once we had changed into our bathing suits… BOOM!! A storm was rolling in. The next thing you know, it was raining cats and dogs. Disappointed with our current circumstances, we hopped into our car, and headed home… What is ironic about this unexpected occurrence of events? We had to leave the water park because of the rain. How ironic!
I believe that authors use irony in literature because it is easy to relate to in real life. Think about it, would you read a book that you had not idea about, and you couldn’t relate to in any way? I thought not! That’s why we use irony. Believe me; I know you have had at least one ironic experience in your life. In fact, irony is the most relatable type of literature! I also believe authors use irony because it is just plain amusing! As humans, we enjoy riddles, puzzles, and the unexpected. Definition of irony…the unexpected! No wonder we enjoy it so much. Some examples of irony in literature are the story, The Necklace, buy Guy de Maupassant (who is French.) Assuming that you have read the story before, you will find it ironic, that a woman and her husband ended up living in poverty for ten years, trying to replace the necklace that she lost, while the original wasn’t worth even a tenth of what the new necklace they had bought was worth. How ironic!
In conclusion, irony is the opposite of what you expect to happen. It is a complex, yet simple paradox of the unknown. Authors use irony regularly in different kinds of literature to be able to relate to their readers, and to amuse themselves and others. Not only can you find it in literature, you can find it in movies, music, television shows, and many others! Personally, I love the use of irony in modern day media, such as in books. It always amuses me to see how the characters in different types of media handle the unexpected enigma of their situation. Now that you know what irony is and how to use it, have fun living irony in your everyday life!i
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