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How Is Dramatic Irony Used in A Good Man Is Hard to Find?

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In A Good Man Is Hard to Find, O’Connor uses the characters and their actions to foreshadow future events. Bailey’s mother is the primary source of dramatic irony. She prides herself on her moral character but always lies and manipulates. No wonder she is the one putting the whole family in danger for selfish reasons.

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Authors often use dramatic irony as a tool to connect their stories with the audience. The readers know more about the causes or resolution of the conflict than the characters. This device is referred to as dramatic irony. Storytellers incorporate foreshadowing to infuse the dialogue with a deeper meaning. There are many examples of this tool in literature. Some of the writers who employed dramatic irony are William Shakespeare, Jonathan Richman, and Henrik Ibsen.

The main types of irony are dramatic, verbal, and situational. Dramatic irony encourages readers to anticipate the moment a character finally learns the truth. Writers put the audience above the protagonists of the story. In such a way, readers know the most critical facts ahead of the characters. Dramatic irony makes it easier to sympathize with fictional heroes. Authors use it to emphasize the fatality of real life. In literature, it is essential to acknowledge the characters’ innocence and ignorance. Thus, readers can relate to such a realistic portrayal of life.

In the story, dramatic irony occurs when a character fails to recognize what is evident to readers. For example, Bailey’s mom considers herself a proper southern matriarch. She views herself as wise, gentle, and honorable. But the audience soon discovers that she is different from that. Throughout the story, Bailey’s mother lies and makes racist remarks. She scorns her children and manipulates them to get her way. Not until the book’s climax does she acknowledge her true character.

To engage the readers, O’Connor combines irony with foreshadowing. In the beginning, the grandmother tells her son that there is a serial killer on the loose. At this point, readers begin to suspect that the main characters will cross paths with the murderer.

None of the heroes realize the gravity of the situation when they meet The Misfit. But readers are aware that the family is doomed. This is another example of the author’s expert use of dramatic irony.

The most notable instance of irony is the fact that Bailey’s mom is the one who endangers her family. At first, she assures her children that she would never put them at risk. But the contrary happens. She knows that the house she wants to visit is in Tennessee but insists on going there. It was the grandmother’s idea to take a dirt road, which led them to The Misfit. In a motion of true dramatic irony, the woman helped the serial killer find them.

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IvyPanda. "How Is Dramatic Irony Used in A Good Man Is Hard to Find?" June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/how-is-dramatic-irony-used-in-a-good-man-is-hard-to-find/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "How Is Dramatic Irony Used in A Good Man Is Hard to Find?" June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/how-is-dramatic-irony-used-in-a-good-man-is-hard-to-find/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'How Is Dramatic Irony Used in A Good Man Is Hard to Find'. 1 June.

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