Rhetorical Analysis Of ' The Novel '

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The use of irony in the novel also contributes to its postmodernism. Many postmodernists treat serious subjects jovially to distance themselves from the difficult subject. They evoke black humor and different types of irony to offer critics of society and to display how society should not fear dark and somber things. DeLillo sprinkles irony all throughout his story using it even at the most serious of times. He uses it to show how the characters should not fear death and how the characters ignore danger when “the smoke alarm went off in the hallway upstairs, either to let us know the battery had just died or because the house was on fire” (8) and they did nothing about the possible imminent danger. DeLillo also uses irony to mock certain characters and expose the ridiculousness of certain beliefs and customs. When Jack’s boss advises him to change his name and appearance to gain more prestige, the change they make is pretentious as it is the same name only without one letter, “we finally agreed that I should event an extra initial and call myself J.A.K Gladney” (16). DeLillo continues to ridicule society and its principles by exposing absurdity such as Jack not knowing German despite being the founder of Hitler studies and his college requiring all Hitler majors to understand some of the language, “I had long tried to conceal the fact that I did not know German” (31). The use of irony not only gives the novel a lighter tone, but also exposes DeLillo’s critique of society
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