An analytical essay of 4 to 5 pages examine how the writer of one of the short stories in Chapter 5, “Style and
Theme,” or in Chapter 6, “Stories and Storytellers,” uses irony and symbols to illustrate the plot and the story’s
Irony can be defined as a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning
is different from the actual meaning of the words. It may also be a situation that may end up in quite a different
way than what is generally anticipated.
Symbols can be an object, person, situation, events, or actions that have a deeper meaning in context. The
use of symbols in literature is a technique where authors describe or incorporate things that are not to be taken
When discussing irony and symbols, ask yourself the following questions:
What are the pertinent symbols used in the story? And, what do the symbols represent?
Which symbols are repeated throughout the story? What was the author’s rationale behind their usage?
Does the irony and symbols foreshadow events to come?
How does the irony and symbols relate to the theme?
How does the writer’s use of ironic and symbolic prose enhance the story? Or does the usage detract from it?
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