Irony is an important literary device in many stories and there are many
examples of it in ‘The Stone Boy’; by Gina Berriault, Animal Farm by George
Orwell, and The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. In
all of these works, irony plays an important role in the plot of the story.
In ‘The Stone Boy’;, the title of the story is a good example of irony.
The title indicates to the reader that Arnold has no feelings and is like a stone.
The irony here is that Arnold cares more about Eugie than anybody, he just
doesn’t know how to express it. Although Arnold did not start out as a
‘stone boy’;, by the end of the story the other characters’ actions forced
Arnold to ‘build a wall’; around himself so his feelings couldn’t be hurt
George Orwell also used irony in the plot of Animal Farm. In the
beginning of the story, Old Major talks about rebelling from Mr. Jones
‘administration’;. Mr. Jones’ way of running things was in a sense a form of
capitalism. The animals had an idea about a socialist form of government.
This existed for a short period of time when the animals had all the power.
When Napoleon took charge, he gradually gained power and after a while the
farm was soon under the rule of a capitalist. This change in government
ultimately led to the downfall of the farm. This a good example of irony,
because capitalism was the thing the animals were trying to get away from,
and in the end it led to their downfall. At another point in the story, when
Boxer is being taken to the ‘hospital’;, he is really being taken to a slaughter
house. The animals think that Boxer’s life is going to be saved, when it was
really being taken away from him.
In The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare uses
different forms of irony in many ways. First of all, the Friar marries Romeo
and Juliet to end their families feud, but the marriage ends up leading to their
death. This is an example of situational irony. Another example of irony is
when Juliet’s parents are planning a wedding for her, when she is already
married. Also, in the end of the story, Juliet fakes her death to be with
Romeo. Romeo thought she was really dead and so he killed himself.
Juliet’s fake death even fooled the one person she wanted to be with.
These are just a few of the many examples of irony found in these
classic literary works. The authors created irony in many ways and also
made it a big part of the plot. Irony is a key device in literature, and can be
found in many stories.