Irony In How I Met My Husband By Alice Munro

864 Words 4 Pages
The utilization of irony in any work of literature can elevate a seemingly simple pretense of a storyline into one with depth and profundity. In “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro, the situational irony present in both the main plot and the subplots increases the suspense that is already prevalent in the superficial aspect of the main scenario of the story. Alice Walker demonstrates the effect of irony in “Everyday Use” by evoking the internal thoughts and emotions of the mother in a narrative with no outward descriptions of her feelings. Irony is used in each of these situations to provide a new layer to both stories beyond that of the initial interpretation. “How I Met My Husband” by Alice Munro and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker effectively …show more content…
Based merely upon the title, the reader has an expectation as to what the conclusion will contain, and therefore any unforeseen development, which can possibly be regarded as an obstacle to that expectation, heightens the uncertainty as to what will ultimately occur. The introduction of the character of Alice Kelling can be considered an example of this idea. After Edie begins to realize her “love” for Chris Watters, the situational irony through the unexpected revelation that he has a fiancée adds a previously lacking layer of suspense. The irony at the conclusion of the story, in which Edie reveals that she married the mailman rather than Chris, is an example of situational irony affecting the main plotline of the story. This unforeseen development can perhaps almost be considered to be a relief to readers, as this detracts from the disappointment following the climax of Edie’s realization that Chris will not write to her. The idea of situational irony in “How I Met My Husband” elevates the story in a manner that adds a multilayer aspect to the uncertainty of the reader’s expectations rather than relying on surface …show more content…
Although each utilizes situational irony, the authors use this form of irony to further the plot of the story in differing ways. In “How I Met My Husband,” Alice Munro uses situational irony to increase the suspense and uncertainty of Edie’s future until the climax of the story occurs. However, Alice Walker utilizes situational irony in “Everyday Use” to strengthen the climax of the narrative of the story, when the mother finally refuses to indulge her daughter, rather than increase the suspense leading up to it. Instead, Walker utilizes verbal irony to increase the suspense leading up to the climax. While the mother’s emotions and feelings are not stated overtly, the verbal irony presents details to the reader to betray the mother’s emotions, particularly her frustration at her daughter’s “rejection” of her childhood lifestyle combined with her loyalty she feels towards her daughter. However, despite the varying utilizations, in both stories, the irony both increases suspense and furthers the plot in anticipation of the

Related Documents