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(a.) Feigned ignorance
designed to confound or to provoke
This is also called: "SOCRATIC IRONY"
Okay. In simple terms, that means somebody pretends
that he/she doesn't know something and asks questions to make one's
interlocutor look foolish, or to educate someone who thinks he/she knows
more than he/she really does.
Let's look at an example:
There are 2 speakers: A and B
Person A uses Socratic Irony.
A: What is life all about?
B: Life all about being happy.
A: Oh. Is that so?
B: Yes. I would say so.
A: Are you happy?
B: Yes. I'd say that I am, most of the time, that is.
A: And how do you know you are happy?
B: Because, I feel joy, gladness, rapture.
A: Yes, but those are merely other words for happiness.
How do you know that what you are experiencing is indeed joy, gladness,
rapture, or whatever you wish to call it?
B: Well, [thinking]... well, [thinking some more]... well,
that's what society has labeled the feeling which one feels, when he/she
feels as I feel.
A: But, where does this feeling come from?
B: Well, I don't know. I guess it comes from one's state
A: I see. And this 'state of mind', as you call it, is
determined on what basis? I mean, what frame of reference does one
have to determine whether one is in one state of mind versus any other
state of mind?
B: Well, [thinking]... I guess... one must have some frame of
reference, and that... well, when one is happy, one generally smiles a
A: I see. But you are not smiling now. Are you
B: Well, in a sense, yes I am... one does not have to be
smiling to be happy. One feels... it is a feeling and a smile is
merely an outward expression of the inner feeling, but one doesn't have
to be smiling to be happy.
A: I see. This is all very interesting. But, you
still haven't really answered my question. What frame of reference
do have to know that you happy or not?
B: Well, I'd say that when my needs and desires are satiated,
then I am happy. When they are not, I am unhappy.
A: But, we cannot have all our needs and desires satiated all
the time, can we?
B: No, but we can most of them
some of the time.
A: Are you without needs and desires, then?
B: Well, for the most part, yes. I admit that there are
some things that I long to do, but my basic needs and desires are met.
A: So, you are happy when your basic needs and desires are met?
A: I see. But what about the poor wretch, whose needs and
desires are not met, and hardly ever at that? What would you have
to say about him?
B: I'd say he is a truly unhappy soul indeed.
A: But you started out saying that life is all about
happiness. Is it to be for the few who have all their basic needs
and desires met, and not for the rest?
B: Oh... I don't know. Why do you pester me with these
questions? Go bother someone else.
(b.) DRAMATIC IRONY: when
the situation in a drama and the words/actions do not match
EXAMPLE: FROM THE ANIMATED FILM: LILO AND
[situation: Lilo's elder sister, Nani, goes to pick up Lilo
from dance school, but Lilo is not there, because she has gone home,
despite being told to wait. Nani comes back home to find that she
is locked out, because Lilo has locked her out. Then, the social
worker shows up to inspect the situation and notices that Lilo has been
home alone and that Nani is trying to get in.]
The social worker asks, "So, do you often leave your sister home
alone?" to which Nani replies, "No, never!"
II. The second definition of IRONY
....which is... when the words used are the opposite of the meaning
intended... used for humor, or to ridicule, or to censure.
The boss comes into the office to find everyone playing computer
games and says, "Don't work too hard."
A man buys a used car. It is old, scratched, and dented, and
the paint is peeling off. He takes it to his friend's house to
show it to his friend. His friend takes one look, and says, "Nice
car, buddy. Where'd you get it? From the junk
(b.) literary form of "a"
Satire can be vocal, but is usually literary.
It aims to ridicule and/or rebuke public and personal vice and/or
folly by pointing the absurdity by exaggeration or sarcasm.
Here is a political satire about President George W. Bush and his
Evidently, the President of the United States has the right to break
his sacred oath, taken on inauguration day, to uphold the sacred ideals
place upon the sacred document that our forefathers gave their sweat,
their blood, and even their lives to protect. Evidently, the
President of the United States considers himself above the laws and
ideals set in ink upon that sacred document. Evidently, the
President has made himself equal with God, omnipotent and omniscient. He has made himself judge, jury, and prosecutor.
He, evidently, has been granted the right to spit upon and trample the
very ideals upon which his country was founded. And who has
granted him this right? The people of the United States.
President G W Bush took an oath to uphold the US
specifically explicates that no man shall be deprived of life, liberty,
or property without due process. Due process involves getting a
writ, getting evidence, and convincing a jury of peers that a person is
guilty. Yet, What did President Bush do? He had a personal
vendetta against somebody. So, he got a writ, and inspectors go
into his home and inspected everything. No evidence could be
found. Yet, President Bush was SO sure (in his imagination) that
there was evidence and demanded that the man to produce evidence against
himself. The fifth amendment of the constitution that President
Bush has sworn to uphold states that no man shall be asked to testify or
produce evidence against himself. Yet, President asked a man to
testify against himself. When the man refused to produce any
evidence, because there was none, there was a trial held. The jury
decided that there wasn't any hard evidence, only hearsay, and
therefore, it was decided that the accused must remain free. BUT,
what did Bush do? He took the law into his own hands and deprived
the man of liberty and property despite what the jury had decided.
The man of whom I speak is Sadaam Hussein.
President Bush really must be God, because most of the American
people have sung his praises and gave him leave to make a mockery of our
previously so highly-held principles. Our constitution is
obviously nothing now. We might as well just throw it away and set
up churches around the country to worship our new God, President Bush.
(c.) an ironic utterance
Someone says, "What a beautiful day! The sky is overcast
and it looks like it will rain any minute. How lovely!"
III. The third definition of IRONY
a situation, which is the opposite of
what one might expect, or a situation, which turns out the opposite of
what was expected.
A survey revealed that most people in poverty are happy, and most
people with opulence are not.
It seems, the more you want something, and the harder you try to
obtain it, the less obtainable it is. And once you do obtain it
(if you ever do), it turns out not to be as desirable as you expected it