Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Verbal Irony

Down to the final week of the April A to Z Challenge and I'm pressured to both complete my dictionary of literary devices with examples from literature as well as complete Netty's story to my readers' satisfaction.

Verbal Irony: Irony is saying one thing and meaning another. Verbal irony is the same thing as sarcasm and may be applied to the dialogue of characters or a book's narrator. Often the reader understands the irony of the statement, but the other character or characters do not. Sarcasm, along with chocolate, is my guilty pleasure.

An Example from Literature: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.


My Try: Netty wished those nursing home doors weren't automated to silently slide open. It took the gusto out of her entrance which would have been so much better if she could have swung them wide and marched through in one complete motion. Instead she stutter-stepped in front of them then passed through, thoroughly unnoticed by the nursing staff and the residents.

She made an extra effort to click her heels across the floor for dramatic effect, but she was wearing rubber soled sandals that only succeeded in making a slap-slap sound.

"Mama," she sharply spoke to a woman parked in a wheelchair near, but not facing, the television. Her mouth hung open beneath vacant eyes and one palsied arm bent up on her chest. "Mama," Netty spoke again, "you were so smart knowing everything would turn out this way. I'm so proud to say you're my mama. I must be the luckiest girl in the world to have a mama who cares about me so much she would crawl into a deep freeze and crystallize her brains to make things all better. Look at you now. Better than ever."

Netty took a tissue and wiped a strand of drool from her unresponsive mother's chin.

Do you use sarcasm or avoid it? What's your favorite sarcastic remark? When do you use it?

(This blog post is brought to you as a part of the April A to Z Challenge.)

April 27th - Wanderjahr

8 comments:

Shelly said...

:)

Brianna said...

I do love sarcasm!

She made an extra effort to click her heels across the floor for dramatic effect, but she was wearing rubber soled sandals that only succeeded in making a slap-slap sound.
This made me laugh! I could just feel how frustrated Netty was in this piece. After discovering the truth, she can't even confront her mother with her anger because her mother won't even notice. Just like the quietly sliding doors. Poor Netty.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Interesting post, Lucy

I love sarcasm but don't usually use it much in my writing, except my current WIP.

MC is an elderly lady, full with a lifetime of regrets and bitterness and my MS seems to have lines of dialogue laden with sarcasm, which comes across as humour!

Sarah Allen said...

Love it! Irony is the best. And your example from Jane Austen was fantastic!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

NANCY said...

HellO! I'm following you from the mid week Mingle! Hope you're having a great day!

Nancy

Hope you'll follow back at http://thatsoundslikecrazy.blogspot.com

Karen F said...

New follower from the Mid Week Mingle hop

Karen
Mommy's Moments
http://www.avonbykaren.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/mommysmoments
http://www.twitter.com/MommysMoments

Josh Hoyt said...

Nice definition of verbal irony. Good post.

Are You A Mom said...

Following you from the hop! Please stop by http://www.Areyouamom.com and say hi :)
Thanks,
Maureen

There was an error in this gadget