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The Use of Irony to Emphasize Human Nature in Stephen King's Popsy and Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron
‘It’s all proper,’ Sheridan said to her, and she went on” (Popsy). By saying this, King shows that not every little thing or everybody is what or who it appears to be. This woman seemed concerned, but after seeing this typical seeking guy, and his saying that every thing was fine, she deemed that the scenario was okay. Ironically, this seemingly standard guy was in the process of kidnapping a kid. Also ironically, the boy continuously warns Sheridan about the capabilities of his Popsy, that he is very sturdy, can fly, and will discover him. Sheridan’s disbelief becomes ironic as soon as Popsy literally lands on the moving car and we find out that Popsy can, in fact, fly. The boy had attempted to inform Sheridan, but he had not listened to his warnings. This story also points to the truth of human nature, that men and women will do whatever it takes to survive. Sheridan owes money to the incorrect people, and the only way to save himself is by kidnapping kids and delivering them to Mr. Wizard. Even though there are signs that he does not like undertaking this, ultimately the message is conveyed that he, and humans in general, will do whatever is necessary to survive.
Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut, also utilizes irony to say one thing about human nature. This story, even though much more of a sci-fi story than horror, also uses details to make a futuristic, unrealistic story seem realistic or relatable. Set in the future, this story tells the reader of a planet exactly where everyone is equal. No one can be better than any person else, and any individual born with a ability or talent has it taken away from them by the government. Nevertheless, absolutely everyone is accepting of this planet because they think it is much better than the old way, saying of the previous “Pretty quickly we’d be correct back to the dark ages once more, with everybody competing against everyone else. You wouldn’t like that, would you?” (2). They refer to the previous as the ‘dark ages’, implying its horridness, and also point out that neither of them would want to be back in that time. Ironically, though they describe the previous as horrible, the world that they currently reside in is in fact horrible. Nevertheless, they are accepting of their new planet and do not want to break from it. This is seemingly element of human nature, not wanting to break from the norm or be distinct.
What I learned from these stories:
From these stories, I discovered that it is possible to write of amazing items or fictional futuristic worlds, although still seeming realistic to the reader. King and Vonnegut somehow describe in wonderful detail these factors that do not exist, and still make them very easily imaginable. Such as in Popsy, when I read the scene that Popsy lands on the van, it did not look crazy or far-fetched, it just flowed with the rest of the story.
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