Irony in Short Stories Essay
Commentary: The following is a draft of a student’s body for the Irony in Short Stories assignment. Ultimately, the student earned an “A” on her final copy. This example shows one stage in the process of writing—this is not a final product. Students first drafted introductions, then drafted body paragraphs, and then conclusions. The final product contained revising each stage of the process and putting it all together for a final grade.
The overall thesis of the essay below examined the ways in which situational irony functioned in three different short stories. The bold comments embedded within the text below are some of my suggestions to the student for strengthening her final. While some revising was necessary, pay attention to the concise yet thorough way Sara introduces each story. She is actually employing the descriptive and informative summary writing techniques we learned earlier in the year. The summary is integral to analyzing the situational irony in each story because it is necessary to understand the entire story to know exactly what is ironic about the ending of each one. However, the paragraphs below are not just summaries; she continues by providing quotes for support and explaining what exactly creates the irony in each story. By doing this, she supports her argument—she doesn’t simply tell me the stories contain situational irony—she shows me by using quotes and explaining them afterward.
Since this is a draft, notice how the first paragraph is much shorter than subsequent paragraphs. As we continue to get our thoughts down on the page, we “warm up” so to speak, and our elaborations and explanations become more thorough and complex. This shows why drafting is important—if you just turn in your first try, it is not going to be a complete representation of all of your thoughts on the subject at hand. It may contain some of your initial thoughts and reflections, but it is not a complete copy…yet.
Irony in Short Stories Essay – Draft
In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, there is one main example of
situational irony. Situational
irony occurs when the actual outcome of a story is opposite of what we
expect it to be. In the
story, a village gathers to hold their annual lottery.
The people of the village seem very nervous, and we do not find out
why they are until the end of the story, when the winner is selected.
Normally when we think of a lottery, we think of the prize as being
money or something enjoyable. The
winner of the lottery in this story does not receive money but death as
his/her prize. Tessie
Hutchinson, a wife and mother, wins the lottery and is stoned to death by
her fellow townspeople. She
complains and whines throughout the entire ordeal, screaming, “It
isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (31).
This type of irony can be considered situational because we expect
a happy winner who receives some grand prize but what we get is a winner
who suffers and ends up dead.
These look really good. You
only have a few corrections to make in your body paragraphs here.
Revise and turn in for your final with intro and conclusion.