Lessons in Irony-Supplemental Power Point.ppt

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Lessons in Irony
The most important lesson you’ll
never remember
Irony
• Irony comes in three wicked varieties
– Dramatic
• The audience knows something about the plot that
the character on stage doesn’t
– Situational
• The outcome or result of a situation or story is the
opposite of what is traditionally expected
– Verbal
• When someone says one thing and means
another.
Cartoon
• Let’s look at some examples of Irony in action. Answer
the questions to help you analyze it.
1. What’s the
action here?
2. What part of
the cartoon is
the most
noticeable?
3. What part is
the most
unexpected?
Analysis
1. What is the action of the cartoon?
1. The depiction of two
alligators dressed as A.I.G.
business men eating babies.
2. What is the most noticeable part
of the cartoon?
1. The alligator literally eating
babies. We expect alligators,
which are cold, unfeeling
reptiles, to be capable of
eating babies. This is not
unexpected.
3. What is the most unexpected part
of the cartoon?
1. The “A.I.G.” logo on the door
and the question about the
bonus.
Evaluation
Now, let’s evaluate the
cartoon.
First, the cartoon depicts
A.I.G. businessmen as
alligators eating babies.
This is an unexpected, or
ironic, treatment of the
issue of unfairly paid
bonuses.
The cartoon makes a
metaphor, comparing
A.I.G. taking its bonuses
to eating children. Eating
children is like eating the
future, therefore, A.I.G.,
by taking these “babies”,
is destroying the future,
and they are doing it as
thoughtlessly as an
alligator.
The cartoon makes a
metaphor, comparing
A.I.G. taking its bonuses
to eating children. Eating
children is like eating the
future, therefore, A.I.G.,
by taking these “babies”,
is destroying the future,
and they are doing it as
thoughtlessly as an
alligator.
Cartoon
1. What’s the
action here?
2. What part of
the cartoon is
the most
noticeable?
3. What part is
the most
unexpected?
Analysis
1. What’s the action here?
1. We have the AIG logo and
a caption which spells out
the acronym “Absolutely
Incredible Greed”.
2. What part of the cartoon is the
most noticeable?
1. The acronym for AIG is
actually American
International Group, and
there is a screw for the
letter ‘I’.
3. What part is the most
unexpected?
1. The screw in place of the “I”
and the notion of incredible
greed.
Evaluation
Now, let’s evaluate the cartoon. This one isn’t complicated by a
metaphor. It’s simply an unexpected twist, or an ironic twist, on a wellknown logo. The unexpected contrast between “the real AIG logo” and
the cynical “truth” of this caption is the source of the humor in this
cartoon. AIG has exhibited incredible greed, and they put the “screw” in
what insurance companies have been doing to us. While this isn’t a “real
logo”, it is still true in the context of political outrage over AIG’s behavior.
Read the following and write in your notes explaining how this is ironic:
• In 1975, Indiana lobbyist Frank Cornelius, whose clients included
the Insurance Institute of Indiana, helped secure passage of a
$500,000 cap on medical malpractice awards and elimination of all
damages for pain and suffering in Indiana. As he wrote in the New
York Times on October 7, 1994, he now “rue[s] that
accomplishment.” Beginning in 1989, Frank Cornelius experienced a
series of medical catastrophes that resulted in his wheelchair
confinement, respirator-assisted breathing and constant physical
pain.
• When he turned to the Indiana courts to provide a remedy, to
compensate him for his massive injuries and hold the negligent
health care providers accountable, the law was no longer there for
him. The Indiana legislature had taken his rights away. Though his
medical expenses and lost wages amounted to over $5 million, his
claims against both the hospital and physical therapist at fault
settled for a mere $500,000 — the limit on damages for a single
incident of malpractice.
Read the following and write in your notes explaining how
this is ironic:
• Southern Alberta has been facing ongoing floods over
the last couple of weeks due to unprecedented amounts
of rain. Many areas of Calgary (the city I live in) have
been evacuated, in fact. Well, it seems the worst is now
over and the dry out period looms ahead. (*knock on
wood*) but we now have a new problem: drastically
limited supplies of potable water in the city. The flooding
brought so much silt and debris with it that the water
purification facilities in Calgary are dramatically reduced
in throughput resulting in very low city water supply
levels.
Read the following and write in your notes explaining how
this is ironic:
• An actor who once played an aspiring
mobster on The Sopranos faces murder
charges along with another man in the
death of an off-duty police officer,
authorities said Sunday.
Read the following and write in your notes explaining how
this is ironic:
• On the outskirts of an old mining town
somewhere out west is a tombstone that
reads “I told you I was sick.”
Read the following and write in your notes explaining how
this is ironic:
• In England, another famous tombstone
reads “I told you if I stuck around here long
enough this was bound to happen.”
Why are these definitions ironic?
• This is the way one humorist defined birth:
Birth, (noun) the first and greatest of all
disasters to befall a person
• This is the way one humorist defined
‘bride’: Bride, (noun) a woman with a good
chance of happiness behind her

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