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What type of irony is being shown in The Life You Save May Be Your Own?

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cherryvibe | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 21, 2008 at 5:38 AM via web

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What type of irony is being shown in The Life You Save May Be Your Own?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 21, 2008 at 2:25 PM (Answer #1)

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The form of irony used in this story is situational irony.  "Situational Irony occurs in literature and in drama when persons and events come together in improbable situations, creating a tension between expected and real results."

Shiftlet meeting Lucynell and her mother, as well as Mrs. Crater marrying her daughter off to this odd drifter, set up a tension for the reader.  We don't trust Mr. Shiftlet, and the reader is uncomfortable with Mrs. Crater's actions.  The end of the story is ironic because Mr. Shiftlet has found salvation from his meaningless life in his relationship with Lucynell.

Mr. Shiftlet, who finds himself in the situation with Lucynell and her mother, which actually could have provided him with a decent sort of life,instead of accepting this chance at a meaningful life, he abandons his salvation, Lucynell in a diner.

The irony is that other characters recognize Lucynell as an "Angel of Gawd" but Shiftlet does not see it.  He abandons Lucynell, and a life saved, to resume his wandering and aimless life.

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