In "Joy" by Anton Chekhov, what are literary elements used?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This short story is built around the use of irony and the differing reactions of one character to the reactions of his family to the situation he is so joyful about. The story begins as one character, Mitya Kuldarov, returns to his house at midnight so overjoyed about something that he wakes everybody in the house up to tell them about it. Note the differing reactions the text reveals in terms of Mitya's own thoughts about appearing in the paper and those of his parents:

The papa turned pale. The mamma glanced at the holy image and crossed herself. The schoolboys jumped out of bed and, just as they were, in short nightshirts, went up to their brother.

"Yes! My name has been published! Now all Russia knows of me! Keep the paper, mamma, in memory of it! We will read it sometimes! Look!"

For Mitya, it is a great joy, as the title of this short story suggests, to have his name appear in the paper, but ironically his parents have a very different attitude and approach, as indicated by the sudden change in skin complexion of his father and the mother crossing herself. What is "joy" to Mitya is certainly not "joy" to his parents, and thus this short story is built around the irony related to the different attitudes about publicity and the emotions attached with it. Mitya's "joy" is all based on his name appearing in the newspaper and the irony comes from his inability to perceive that this is something he should be ashamed of.

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