He-y, Come On Ou-t!

by Shinichi Hoshi
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Explain the irony of the ending in "He-y, Come On Ou-t!"

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The irony at the end of “He-y, Come on Ou-t!” occurs as the villagers are finally faced with the consequences of their careless actions. The hole at the center of the story seems bottomless. At the beginning, a young man yells down the hole, which appeared after a typhoon, and throws in a pebble. No one hears an echo or the sound of the pebble hitting bottom. The villagers and their neighbors soon come to believe that they have the perfect solution that will allow them to get rid of everything they don't want. They can simply throw it down the hole, and it will disappear forever.

They begin doing just that. Everything from toxic waste to classified documents to letters and diaries goes into that hole, and everyone thinks they have gotten rid of their unwanted items for good.

But at the end of the story, a voice rings out from the sky one day with the very shout that the young man yelled into the hole. A pebble soon follows. We readers realize, as the villagers soon will, too, that everything that has been dumped into that hole will soon come out of the sky right onto their heads and very much back into their lives. They have gotten rid of nothing. It will all come back to haunt them.

Here is the delicious irony of the story. What seems gone for good comes back around. Appearance and reality are two different things. Throwing something away rather than dealing with it properly is no solution at all, as the villagers will soon know.

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