The Ironical Aspects in Li Rui's Electing a Thief

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The Ironical Aspects in Li Rui’s Electing A Thief “Electing a thief”, a short story written by Li Rui, is about a leader in the village who discovers the disappearance of a bag of grain from the storehouse and came up with the idea of “democracy” to get clues on finding the thief. (Li 321) The leader wants all the men from the village to vote for a thief but surprisingly, it turns out that the entire vote is unanimously against him. The head angrily quit his job and all the villagers are very excited about the joke they played on the captain but not for long, their heart suddenly filled with fear. “When they’d had their fill of laughter, some began to worry.” (Li 321) They recognize his significances to the village and now, being at a…show more content…
Even though this story is written in a way that it’s not complicated to understand but the real ironical aspects that Li Rui is trying to convey is somewhat profound. Apart from the very shallow ironies discussed above, the first irony that the author actually focuses on happens when the team leader orders the men from village to elect the grain thief. “Elect! If you don’t elect a grain thief this very day, there’ll be no threshing, which means no wheat harvest this year...Come on, hurry up about it, everybody pick whoever he wants, but no talking allowed!” (Li 321) This passage reveals the leader’s point of view, he thinks he is solving this issue democratically because they have a choice to vote. “Don’t be afraid. This is a democratic election, you can pick anyone you please, Elect whoever looks like he might have stolen the wheat.” (Li 322) This quote shows that he is quite confident that he can solve the thief problem with the democratic election he proposed. To his surprise, they all elected him and he left furiously after jinxing all the villagers’ ancestors. Although the team head has the right procedures of how the election should work, he apparently has a misconception on “democracy” because he thinks that it’s just a way to gather people up to jointly solve the problem. In reality, it means every citizen is equal before the law and gain

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