Irony is used to express a contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant. In the story The Interlopers by Saki and The Man he Killed By Thomas Hardigan the authors relate to the same theme-war makes people powerless- by the use of Irony. However, Saki uses Situational Irony and Hardigan uses Verbal Irony to Address the theme.
In the story The Interlopers the author, Saki, uses situational Irony to get the theme of the story across the readers mind. An example of how he accomplishes this is when Ulrich and his enemy George face each other in the woods something prevents them from hurting each other, And before the moment of hesitation had given way to action a deed of Natures own violence overwhelmed them both. (p.7) Before they could even make a decision, the two enemies find themselves stuck tofether under a tree depending on each other for survival. The two foes powerless upon nature are forced to solve their differences with no other choice. When they are under the tree Ulrich says So youre not killed, as you ought to be, but youre caught anywayThats real justice for you(p.8) Even thought Ulrich and Georg are under the very same circumstances they cant wait to tell each other howglad they are that this has happened to the other one. They aree both under the same conditions with the same probabilities of escape and even thought they feel confident, reality is that theya re powerless. By the use of situational irony Saki explains that even though war feuds can be used to gain power, the situation causes the opposite.
In the poem The Man he Killed Thomas Hardigan uses verbal Irony to get the theme across the readers mind. The speaker explains the reason why he killed another man I shot him dead, because he was my foe just so: my foe of course he was; its clear enough (stanza 3) By explaining the feelings the speaker has about war, Hardigan creates the picture of a powerless man trying to convince himself that what he had to do in war was necessary. Again, the main character has no control over what happens at war. This idea is accomplished by the use of Irony. In addition, in the last stanza of the poem, the speaker says, yes, quaint and curious war is! Yours shot a fellow down youd treat him if met where any bar is The speaker feels the difference between the mentality before and after he went to war he explain she other options a soldier has when not found under the scenario of war. Thomas Hardigan expresses the theme by using verbal Irony. The speaker explains his thoughts about war, yet his own dubious tone helps figure out the irony of the story.Although both authors of the stories use irony to express the theme, they use different kinds. Saki uses situational Irony and shows it by creating different scenes and leaving an open opinion about the irony for the reader, and Hardigan uses verbal Irony, by explaining the different thoughts of the speaker.