Situational Irony In The Ransom Of Red Chief

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Being Kidnapped seems like a situation that would be terrible to be in. For one kid, it was the best few days of his life and he did not want to leave. “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry, is a fictional short story. Bill and Sam are the two main characters in the story. With much work they plan to pull off a fraudulent town-lot scheme in Western Illinois. To do this they need two thousand dollars. These two men decide to kidnap Ebenezer Dorset’s child and offer a ransom. Bill and Sam take the child up to an unseen cave on a hill away from the town. The child is a feisty child who always wants to play. His Indian name is Red Chief, notwithstanding that his real name's Johnny. Johnny enjoys being able to have Bill to play along with. Bill …show more content…
Henry uses irony along with hyperbole in order to add a sense of humor to the story. Bill and Sam both expect Dorset to pay for his son back. Situational irony occurs when they receive a response to the ransom. Dorset actually asks them to “bring Johnny home and pay” him “two hundred and fifty dollars in cash” (O. Henry 24). This creates humor because Bill and Sam put up with Johnny to get a cash reward but end up losing money. Situational irony also occurs when Bill and Sam threaten to return Johnny to his home if he misbehaves. The fact that Sam has to say “[i]f you don’t behave” “I’ll take you straight home” (O. Henry 18) creates humor because Johnny realizes he is kidnapped and is happy. Johnny acts like he is with his friends and not two, random, kidnapping strangers. O. Henry also creates situational irony when Johnny gets upset that Bill and Sam are taking him home. Johnny starts “up a howl like a calliope and fastened himself as tight as a leech to Bill’s leg” (O. Henry 25). This creates humor because typically children would be overjoyed that they were being sent home unharmed. Conversely, Johnny gets upset. O. Henry creates jokes in his writing about Bill and Sam’s expectations and actions in the story along with the hyperbole and

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