The use of irony is a style that is employed by many in their writings. It has various significance as it creates suspense thus prevents boredom in a story. Irony creates the desire of the reader to reader more and developmental pictures that make the story flow (Sacerdoti 57). In the story Gryphon by Charles Baxter, irony is used in many occasions which make the story more interesting. The style also improves the understanding of the work since it makes the story more fascinating.
Charles Baxter gave Miss Ferenczi a role that portrays a lot of irony. In the plot of the story, Miss Ferenczi is a teacher in a new environment. She is given a task to take over a class that was initially being taught by a male teacher that everyone was used to. Miss Ferenczi first introduces herself to the class with little attention. Her introduction is ironical to her work as she tells the class that her grandfather was a Hungarian Prince and the mother was a popular pianist who toured many places in Europe. This indicated to the children that she came from a very wealthy family. Charles Baxter has also employed the use of dramatic irony in his writing. In a normal set up, children from wealthy families often prefer doing simple jobs that are less strenuous due to their social upbringing. Teaching is a profession that is viewed to belong to average people but not those from a very high society. Dramatic irony can only be realized by the audience but not the characters in the story (Bily & Cynthia 2). In this case, the audiences get anxious about a character as well as the author’s intensions towards the use of this form of irony in the story. Dramatic irony also creates suspense in a story thus giving the reader or audience the desire to explore more about the story.
Situational irony is also applied throughout the story ‘Gryphon’. Situational irony is used to explain the ironical representation in a story (Kirszner & Mandell 76). For instance, it is used to portray the reverse application of the expected situation. It is ironical that Miss Ferenczi refers to the statue of the gryphon as an “animal” that was in Egypt. The fact that she is a teacher who has travelled to many places throughout the world, Egypt is one of the countries she once visited. Situational irony also creates a sense of mystery in the reader’s mind while the reader focuses on trying to find out whether Miss Ferenczi tells the truth about visiting Egypt, as well as touring other places in the world. Therefore it gives the reader the need to find out more information about the actual character of Miss Ferenczi.
Another form of a situational irony as presented in the ‘Gryphon’ story is when Wayne, a student who is against Miss Ferenczi teachings protests against the sacking of his teacher on the basis that she is right in her teaching methods (Bily & Cynthia 2). Situational irony is also used by various authors to create a sense of confusion in the readers’ mind in order create suspense and counter monotony as well as avoid reputation of incidences. The author continues to use situational irony by presenting other series of examples in the story. For instance Miss Ferenczi does the exact opposite of what is expected in her profession. A teacher is expected to encourage weak students of future improvement and prosperity. However, Miss Ferenczi goes against this concept as she claims to foretell of a bad future for her students (Bily & Cynthia 2).
Charles Baxter also uses verbal irony in the story. This is portrayed when Miss Ferenczi tells her class that it is mathematically right to say “eleven multiplied by six results to sixty eight’ whereas in real sense when eleven is multiplied by six to sixty six. The writer uses this type of irony to signify that ironies have a hidden meaning and they are used to depict hidden ideas in a story (Booth 32). This is justified when she explains to the class that the mathematical concept is viewed to be literary wrong but can be right if it is supported by a justified explanation.
The use of irony is important in any writing as it breaks the monotony of the story. Charles Baxter uses this notion to employ a series of ironies throughout the story of Gryphon and their characters. Therefore, it is ideal for writers to endorse the use of irony in the plot of their stories in order to make them more fascinating to their targeted readers.
Sacerdoti G. Irony Through Psychoanalysis: London. Karnac Books, 2011. Print
Kirszner Laurie G., Mandell Stephen R. Lit: New York. Cengage Learning, 2011. Print
Booth Wayne C. A Rhetoric of Irony: Chicago. University of Chicago Press, 1975. Print
Bily, Cynthia A. Gryphon: Michigan: Salem Press. Ed Rev. 2004. Pp 1-3. Literary Reference
Center Plus. Web. 6th April 2013.