How would you summarize the story "The Fortune Teller" by Karel Capek? How does the author use irony?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Fortune Teller" tells the story of Mrs. Myers, a woman who comes to the attention of a police inspector called Mr. MacLeary. Keen to know how she conducts her business, Mr. MacLeary's wife calls on Mrs. Myers at home and pretends to be a single woman who desires to know her future. In their meeting, Mrs. Myers predicts that Mrs. MacLeary (disguised as Miss Jones) will be married before the year is up and will go on a long journey. A man, it is claimed, will also try and stand in her way.

Believing these predictions to be false, Mrs. MacLeary reports these findings to her husband. He has recently discovered that Mrs. Myers' identity is also false: her surname is, in fact, Meierhofer and she comes from Lubeck in Germany.

As a result, Mrs. Myers is called to account for her business before the local magistrate, Mr. Kelly, who finds her guilty of fraud and sentences her to pay a fine of fifty pounds. The case of Mrs. Myers, it seems, is finally over.

It is in the closing paragraph of the story, however, that Capek uses irony when it transpires that Mrs. Myers' original predictions for Mrs. MacLeary come true. Mrs. MacLeary does indeed marry a man before the year is up: he is a millionaire from Melbourne and Mrs. MacLeary moves with him to Australia, a place which requires a considerably long journey from London.

me1tsush | Student

Though Mrs.Myers was a fortune teller she could not predict that Mrs.MacLeary was of 24 years age and not 20. Next, she could not predict about herself that she had to go to the court and that Mrs.MacLeary was a danger to her. The judge was interested in correcting the was to see the prophecy rather than discussing about her punishment. And the greatest irony is that the prophesy of the fake fortune teller comes true at the end and it gives a total twist to the story.

me1tsush | Student

The irony in the story is that the old lady predicted a certain future for miss Jones, or Mrs macleary... which in the end came true!
despite all the criticisms. she predicted that she would get married to young rich man and move to a place across the sea. in this case.. Australia!
So basically, what they thought to be bull , came around to bite them in the bum. and detective MacLeary got the hardest bite. The story explores the way fate can have its own share of fun by playing practical jokes on its hapless victims

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