Theme Of Irony In Notorious Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County

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There are many literary devices writers throughout history have utilized. One of the most powerful, yet complicated literary device is irony. Irony occurs when what a reader expects to happen is the complete opposite of the actual outcome. Irony helps illustrate humor especially in the works “Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain and “Good Country People” by Flannery O’Connor. “Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” is a framed narrative that tells the tale of Jim Smiley who is really good at winning bets; More rather, he is good at manipulating the game to win bets. In the end of this short story, the joke is actually on Smiley because his opponent tricks him into losing his own bet. In “Good Country People”, the ending …show more content…
It is hard to find the theme of this short story because it is difficult to establish which character this story revolves around. This is different from “Good Country People” because it is clear that the story revolves around Hulga. The repetitive use of trickery brings up the meaning of trust or lack there of. The narrator trusted his friend and followed his orders to find a non-existent Reverend Smiley. Jim Smiley trusted a stranger with his “Notorious Jumping Frog” while he went to go find his opponent a frog so he could hustle him, only to be later hustled himself. Twain could be saying that the lawless, uneducated miners should not be underestimated and during this time period you have to learn to survive on your own and trust no one. Trust is an underlying theme found in “Good Country People” also, but O’Connor achieves the irony in her story with a more satirical …show more content…
The dark humor used coincides with the irony throughout the story. It could be argued that Hulga represents O’Connor herself. If this is true, then O’Connor makes jokes about herself and the unfortunate life she had. O’Connor had a chronic disease that forced her to use crutches for nearly all of her life. Hulga has a similar unfortunate life with a heart disease, a wooden peg as a leg, and along with that, she is nearly blind without glasses. Post-modernism tends to focus on the self so it makes sense that O’Connor used Hulga to represent her life. O’Connor describes Hulga “lumbar[ing] into the bathroom” (445). She uses the word lumbar to bring attention to the fact that Hulga walks on a wooden peg. O’Connor’s representation of her own life is controversially

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