Essay 2 Unfortunate Irony In the poem “Hope” by Ariel Dorfman the use of irony is what really sets and delivers the mood of this heart wrenching story. The author uses a very straight forward approach in this poem because they are essentially just telling the story, adding loose rhythm and rhyme structure. The best way for the author to get the point of this tragedy across is with subtle but profound irony. The mother and father finding “joy” in this horrible event is the best example of irony.
Irony in my opinion is what can really drive home the feeling of the author or lyricist and is a way to completely change the direction of feeling. In Hope, when the author says “we couldn’t find out anything else about him”, it’s as if the author’s implying they don’t know where they are taking him, what they are doing with him, or if they’ll ever see him again. The irony in this statement is that we assume that until completing the poem and rereading it, that maybe the parents will not get to see the child grow up.
The author is speculating this early on that they will not see their child do all those things we have all been able to do and our parents have watched us do. Because they already know and somewhat accept what is going to happen to the child. The author is completely aware of what kind of situation this has brought about. You see this when Ariel says, “somebody tell me frankly what times are these, what kind of word, what country”. Ariel knows, these are terrible times… This type of irony really reminds of classic and contemporary country lyrics.
The one that comes to mind immediately is “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones. The story he tells is of a man that’s hopelessly in love with a former lover that no longer loves him. The opening line really sets the tone with Jones’ haunting twang, “He said I’ll love you till I die, She said you’ll forget in time. ” But as the story explains, he doesn’t. Jones’ lyrics are extremely painful when describing the setting of his home and how he has held on to items that are linked to her. He kept some letters by his bed, Dated 1962, He had underlined in red, Every single I love you. ” The verse right before the chorus and the chorus itself are what show the very unfortunate irony. The person telling the story explains how he went to see his friend and he’s “All dressed up to go away, First time I’d seen him smile in years”, the man had finally found the end to his pain on his way to his own funeral. The chorus, “He stopped loving her today, They placed a wreath upon his door, And soon they’ll carry him away, He stopped loving her today. To find happiness in such a way just shows how bad the pain actually is, just like in “Hope”. To find any amount in joy due to horrific pain and sadness, is very sad and it is understandable how the family of the child in “Hope” and the friends of the man in “He Stopped Loving Her Today” can find joy in these extremely sad and difficult situations The ultimate display of irony in “Hope” is after Ariel acknowledges the circumstances and situation their family has found themselves in and how to deal with it. They say they recognized his voice, his screams, they say”, this is very powerful and very disturbing. This leads to the ultimate question of this piece, “What I’m asking is how can it be that a father’s joy, a mother’s joy, is knowing that they, that they are still torturing their son? ” And the joy and comfort they find by knowing that if he is being tortured that is still alive and that still leaves a window for hope. Which means that he was alive five months later and our greatest hope will be to find out next year that they’re still torturing him eight months later, and he may… might… could still be alive. ” That is unfortunate irony, finding joy in a loved one being tortured because at least there is still hope they will one day be reunited with their child. Works Cited Dorfman, Ariel. “Hope”. Kirszner/Mandell Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing Jones, George. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” http://www. cowboylyrics. com/lyrics/jones-george/he-stopped-loving-her-today-18102. html