Prepping for my lesson...

I am teaching middle school writing and I found some really good links.  Today we are talking about parallel structure, antithesis, hyperbole, and Ironic or surprising juxtaposition of detail.  Here are the links and the info.  Here is some stuff I got from Wikipedia and here are the links.  I've found teaching Irony to be an absolute chore.  I found a good picture on wikipedia that has a DEAD END sign in front of a cemetary.

·          "She has a brain the size of a pinhead."

·          "I nearly died."

·          "She is so dumb her IQ is probably -2!"

·          "I will die if no one asks me to dance."

·          "He is as big as an elephant!"

·          "I'm so hungry I could eat my own paste!"

·          "I told you a billion times not to exaggerate."

·          "I've heard that a billion and one times."

·          "Wikipedia has eleventy billion entries!"

Situational irony

An example of situational irony — the juxtaposition of the sign and its surroundings is unexpected

Players and events coming together in improbable situations creating a tension between expected and real results. Situational irony occurs when the results of a situation are far different from what was expected. This results in a feeling of surprise and unfairness due to the odd situation.

Players and events coming together in improbable situations creating a tension between expected and real results. Situational irony occurs when the results of a situation are far different from what was expected. This results in a feeling of surprise and unfairness due to the odd situation.


·          A shipboard scene of reconciliation and hope for an estranged couple ends with the camera pulling back to reveal a life preserver stenciled " RMS Titanic."

·          A situation immortalized in O. Henry's story The Gift of the Magi, in which a young couple is too poor to buy each other Christmas gifts. The man finally pawns his heirloom pocket watch to buy his wife a set of combs for her long, prized, beautiful hair. She, meantime, cuts her hair to sell to a wigmaker for money to buy her husband a watch-chain.

·          A man goes over a giant waterfall in a barrel and survives, only to take a cleanup shower where he slips on the soap and dies from trauma and drowning. Such a contrast occurred in 2006 when Australian naturalist Steve Irwin, famous for surviving many close encounters with Earth's deadliest animals, died in a freak accident with a sting-ray, an animal which almost never causes fatalities.

·          An anti-capitalist website sells anti-capitalism t-shirts for a profit.

·          Joe Ranft, the man who co-directed the Disney/Pixar movie Cars died in a car crash in 2005.

[ edit] Irony of fate (cosmic irony)

The expression "irony of fate" stems from the notion that the gods (or the Fates) are amusing themselves by toying with the minds of mortals, with deliberate ironic intent. Closely connected with cosmic irony, it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results. Minor examples are daily life situations such as the rain that sets in immediately after one finishes watering one's garden, following many days of putting off watering in anticipation of rain. Sharper examples can include situations in which the consequences are more dramatic.

For example:

·          The artist Monet's loss of vision, but not hearing.

·          Ludwig van Beethoven's loss of hearing, but not vision.

·          The 1956 loss by fire of the top of Harvard's Memorial Hall tower, while being restored by workmen to make sure it would last for generations.

·          American astronaut Gus Grissom's death inside Apollo 1 may have been partly because of a spacecraft redesign that he had recommended after the Mercury-Redstone 4 mission. After a Mercury hatch opened prematurely, nearly causing his death, Grissom had recommended the Apollo hatch be made more difficult to open. The new hatch proved too difficult to open.

·          Chemist and mechanical engineer Thomas Midgley invented both tetraethyl lead and the chlorofluorocarbon Freon-12 as intended boons to the world. However, both compounds were environmental disasters: the first resulting in widespread lead poisoning, and the second class of compounds in widespread harm to the ozone layer.

·          At the age of 55, Midgley contracted polio and invented a complicated system of pulleys and ropes to move him in his bed. Although he was an accomplished engineer, this system also badly departed from its ideal task, strangling its inventor to death.

·          At the turn of the century, Charles Justice, a prison inmate at the Ohio State Penitentiary, devised an idea to improve the efficiency of the restraints on the electric chair. After a parole, he was convicted in a robbery/murder and returned to prison 13 years later under a death sentence. On November 9, 1911, he died in the same electric chair that he had helped to improve.[ citation needed]


[ edit] Historical irony (cosmic irony through time)

When history is seen through modern eyes, it sometimes happens that there is an especially sharp contrast between the way historical figures see their world and the probable future of their world, and what actually transpired. When the World War which began the 20th century was called The War to End All Wars, this later became an example of historical irony. Historical irony is therefore a subset of cosmic irony, but one in which the element of time is bound up. Examples:

·          When the telephone was invented, some people were especially quick to see the possibilities. One man even said: "I can easily see that every town will want one."

·          Contrasting statements were made at the dawn of computers, which were initially thought to be devices never capable of use outside a government or academic setting.

Historical irony is often encapsulated into statement:

·          "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Nearly the last words of American Civil War General John Sedgwick [1]

·          In response to Mrs. Connally's comment, "Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you." John F. Kennedy uttered his last words, "That's very obvious." [2]




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