Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 1 | Words: 284
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

After reading the short story “Fantaisie Printaniere”, I understood that the whole story is based on irony. We feel irony and humour in the events, characters, descriptions etc. The author uses the stylistic means such as epithets, metaphors, hyperbole and exaggeration in ironic meaning. Describing people and the usual things as “dirty street”, Frank Norris uses bookish elevated and poetic vocabulary. For example, instead of “dirty” — “squalid”, “neighborhood” — “propinquility”, “quarrel” — “feud”.

Frank Norris laughs at McTeague and Ryer, using such words as “brute” and “sadist”. To my mind, with the help of irony the author reflects such burning issues as professional failures, tenement houses, alcohol using and stupidity of people and abuse of wives. Maybe one considers it to be a very cruel or black humour. However, it is a black humor which can make us think over these usual problems and find the solutions to them. The author openly mocks at his characters, using no exaggerations, like in the sentence “He was a small, lean, pinkish creature, like a split carrot”¦ His narrow eyes glistened like streaks of bitumen”.

I am fascinated with the fact that irony of Frank Norris is direct, open, cruel, but true. The whole short story is full of the criticism of people, their appearance, behavior and actions. Why not? Laugh is the best way to show the vices of society.

The author compares incomparable things, for example: “Fingernail marks, long red lines appeared on the curve of Trina’s cheeks, very like McTeague’s conception of the parallels upon a globe”. Frank Norris compares oppositions to show his irony. This short story is the best example of total irony used to describe our society, which becomes degraded and morally ruined.

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