Use Irony and Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude
In Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, the realistic description of impossible events is an example of both irony and magic realism.
Irony is the use of words, images, and so on, to convey the opposite of their intended meaning. Garcia Marquez employs irony on several levels. Sometimes a single word, such as a character's name, suggests something opposite to the character's personality: for example, Prudencio Aguilar, who is not the least bit "prudent".
Sometimes a character's style of speech is ironic. For example, in the chapter on the banana workers' strike, the court uses very stiff, pompous language to state something that is ridiculous: that …show more content…
The effect of irony is generally comic, but as we can see from these few examples, Garcia Marquez also frequently uses it to underscore a tragedy. Even the novel's last sentence, which appears to be giving the moral of the story, is ironic. Why should "the bloodlines condemned to one hundred years of solitude" not have "a second opportunity on earth"? and how does any family get such a terrible condemnation? The real lessons of this book, if we are bent on finding moral lessons, have to do with the nature of power, of love, of solitude, but also of capitalist development and of literature itself.
It is this reporting of fantastic, bizarre events in a perfectly straight, seemingly objective tone that is what has been called "magic realism" or "the marvelous real," the technique, or attitude, most popularly identified with Garcia Marquez's writings. The two terms are similar in meaning, but they have a little different history.
Magic realism, according to the Oxford Companion to English Literature (1985:606), is a term coined by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925, to describe works of art that are realistic in style but represent imaginary or fantastic scenes. More recently, it has been applied to the works of several writers of fiction, Garcia Marquez prominent among them, as well as Gunter Grass (Germany), John Fowles
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Irony is a very big part of a story, because it can create new elements in a story. Some of these elements may include humor and theme. "The Ransom of Red Chief" is a great example for this.
Yelling “oh great!” after failing a test demonstrates one example. Someone wouldn’t really be happy about that; the irony is being overly positive about a negative occurrence. When the author writes, “you’re a game hunter not a philosopher, who cares how the jaguar feels” (Connell 18), and when Rainsford becomes the “Jaguar” later it is a little ironic. Connell wanted us to think about how a jaguar feels, and why they would be talking about that. When it came to the part in the story where he was being hunted, the readers think back to where the jaguar is mentioned and might think how that was ironic. The author was effective at showing irony. Another example of irony is, “ ‘...you’ll have a cocktail, Mr. Rainsford,’ he suggested” (Connell 22). He wanted the audience to think about how General Zaroff was being overly nice to a stranger he just met, but then, all of a sudden, changed into a psychopath, a murderer who hunts people for fun. The author made the reader believe Zaroff was generous and kind, and Rainsford probably believed it too. Zaroff acted this way to get Rainsford’s trust, so he could set him free and hunt him
Although irony may be associated with negative events or actions, it can also be a sign of good for characters within stories. According to Dictionary.com, irony in literature is defined as “a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.” The use of irony is found within the novel The Kite Runner, written by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini uses irony to portray and develop the main dynamic character in this story, Amir. Most of the major events Amir is faced with at a younger age seemingly come full circle when he reaches adulthood. Irony plays a role as Amir lives through tragic events that ultimately teach him how to become a better person.
"Irony is a device that protects him (the artist) from the pain of his experience so that he may use it objectively in his art(Susquehanna. "New Critical")." In The Glass Menagerie, it is ironic how Tom speaks badly of his father and his leaving home but in the end he leaves home just like his father, the man "in love with long distances (Williams 30)''. The fact that Amanda wants what is best for her children is ironic because she worries so much over it that she doesn't realize what is best for them.
Magical realism is a type of writing where two views of reality come together. There are numerous of ways magical realism is expressed in Latin American writing. A very common one amongst stories is open-ended conclusion in which we the readers just have to accept it. Usually magical realism is used as a metaphor for something more meaningful. One story that conveys a lot of magical realism is The Third Bank of The River by João Guimarães Rosa. The story is about the narrator's dad who was quite the quiet man, who one day bought a boat fit for one. He entered the river and never spoke a word to another soul again. The son is the only one who stays at the house in case of the father's return. He leaves food out for him so that he will survive, until one day he makes an offer to his father, and ends up fleeing in terror.
It is often said that irony is the vital literary element to a story because it gives the story character. Whether it changes the mood, creates suspense, adds foreshadowing, engages the reader or something else, irony can do many things for a story.
The story “The cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe already starts with irony in the first sentence; “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge”. By using irony the author allows readers to have different interpretations of his story; for example Poe’s antagonist characters has the name of Fortunado. He is the one that is murdered in the end, thus demonstrating that he is not as fortunate as his name seems to indicate. Bella Wang and Amelia Tibbett exemplify this by saying, in her analysis of Poe’s story; “Poe gives the victim the name of Fortunato, which may mean "fortunate" in Italian, but adds an extra element of cynical humor to Fortunato 's jovial and unsuspecting character.” (Wang) and also “the word "luckily" also recalls the meaning of Fortunato 's name and is thus entirely unfitting for Fortunato 's fate.” (Wang). Moreover, in her analysis of the text, Amelia Tibbett confirms the fact that the reader has a kind of freedom in interoperating the story; Poe cleverly weaves this story so that he has perfect control over the narrative, all the while allowing the reader some freedom in their own interpretations. (Tibbett).
Magical realism is a genre that portrays both reality and fantasy. As defined by Faris (2004) in Ordinary enchantments, magical realism is a genre of writing that includes an irreducible element of magic and details that suggest phenomenon (Faris, 2004, p. 7). He describes the irreducible element as: “…something we cannot explain according to the laws of the universe as they have been formulated in Western empirically based discourse…” (Faris, 2004, p. 7). In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, The handsomest drowned man in the world, the facets of magical realism are rife. He uses magical realism to enchant the reader. The story is of a small cliff-side and coastal community
Irony is most commonly used in dialogue to express sarcasm and humor, however it can also be applied to add depth to literature. Mary Shelley employs irony in Frankenstein to emphasize the truth and prompt her readers to question pivotal concepts. Her use of irony does not intended for humor, but instead, she utilizes ironic devices to enhance her overall themes and convey the unpredictable consequences of actions.
In the stories “Story of an Hour”, “Everyday Use”, “The Necklace”, and “The Lottery” it is evident that irony was quite a large part of the short story. There is situational irony, which is when the situation turns out differently than expected. Also, dramatic irony is present, which is when you as a reader knows more than the character. The authors seem to base their whole story around irony to surprise their readers.
Irony is usually termed as a technique or way or presenting a topic with one meaning, not disclosing to the reader that a totally different thing has happened. For instance, one might say it is ironic to save up the money to buy your dream car and it sells minutes before you get there. In the mind of someone like Edgar Allan Poe, irony can take one a far deeper meaning. One piece of irony is the name of the victim, Fortunato. This is an Italian word suggesting good fortune. (Cummings, 2005) However, we know from the beginning of the story that his fortune is not good. The more one looks for it, sometimes the more minute the irony can be. Take the description of Fortunato:
She uses it to show us how each party feels, without making it too obvious at the same time. She uses ironic situations in order to let us know what is going on with her characters feelings, emotions, actions, and their past experiences. Without it, the stories she writes would be drastically different, and if I may be so bold to say, quite dull. But fortunately for all of us, she uses irony very, very well throughout all of her stories, especially this one, "The Storm." It's tied in so well that it aids us to see that this is not a storm of just thunder or lightning, but of lust and
Imagine, every morning you wake up to the sound of the rooster singing. Not to the normal crow a rooster makes, but to a beautiful sonata that wakes your soul up from a deep slumber. It may not sound too realistic in our real word, but to a writer, this can bring special emphases to the story’s meaning. This literary practice is called magical realism. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines magical realism, or magic realism as they put it; 1) painting in a meticulously realistic style of imaginary or fantastic scenes or images; and 2) a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin America that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction. It is the second definition that author Laura Esquivel, incorporates magical realism into her book, Like Water for Chocolate. Many of the themes and emotions in the book are emphasized with the use of Magical realism.
Irony can be used in poetry to make a point, or to evoke a particular emotion or reaction. Sometimes it can be hard to identify, but can ultimately change the way you interpret a poem. Irony, in all its forms, has become an important literacy technique. You can see irony in one, two or all three forms throughout one single