February 13, 2013
Event Analysis 3
John Ciardi’s poem, “Suburban,” Thomas Lynch’s poem, “Liberty” and Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” are examples of satires. Irony is the use of contradictory statements or situations to illustrate something that is really the opposite of what is truly meant. Ciardi and Lynch both use irony in their poems through the illustration of suburban life. Poe uses irony to demonstrate how drunkenness and revenge can lead to peace. Irony is an important aspect of all three pieces because it reveals something unpredictable about each piece and tricks the reader into believing one thing to happen, when in reality something different occurs.
Both Ciardi, Lynch and Poe use humor to express the speakers overall message in their poems. In Ciardi’s, “Suburban,” the speaker expresses his kindness to his neighbor after she calls him saying that his dog, “deposited—forgive me—a large repulsive object in my petunias”(5). The relationship between the two neighbors, Mrs. Friar and Mr. Ciardi, appears to be neighborly and friendly, however, Mr. Ciardi’s satirical remarks illustrate his humorous character. Mr. Ciardi seems to hold some underlying feelings for Mrs. Friar but because of the pre-conceived idea of a suburban neighborhood, stereotypically characterized by friendliness and kindness, he chooses not to cause tension between him and Mrs. Friar. He jokingly tells himself what he could of asked her and says, “My dog as it happened was in Vermont with my son, who had gone fishing—if that’s what one does with a girl, two cases of beer…But why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack?” (10). Here, the reader might expect Mr. Ciardi to simply pick up after his dog and not cause an argument between him and Mrs. Friar, yet he chooses to do the unpredictable and imagine the situation in which he might cause disapproval by his neighbor. Mrs. Friar is also ironic despite her friendly and outward personality. She expresses her true feelings about what the dog did when she says, “Not really…but really!”(512). Here, Ciardi is illustrating how despite conventional thoughts of neighbors being friendly in suburban neighborhoods, Mrs. Friar is expressing her annoyance with what happened in an almost abrupt way.
Similarly in Lynch’s poem, “Liberty,” the male speaker expresses his feelings about suburban life in an ironic way. The speaker holds somewhat of a grudge to the constraints of suburban life and feels strongly about his own freedom. He believes that, “gentility or envy”(13) may be the reason for his unsettling feeling. The speaker wants to get away from the, “porcelain and plumbing and the Great Beyond beyond the toilet and the sewage works,”(1-3) and gain his own freedom and peace away from the conventions of his neighborhood. Similarly in, “The Cask of Amontillado,” the speaker expresses a concern of seeking revenge on his friend for a past insult he made to him. The speaker wants to trick his friend Fortunato, get him extremely drunk, and then lead him into a trap in order to ultimately kill him. Interestingly despite the speaker’s seemingly kind words to his friend as they make their way through the tomb, the moment that Fortunato is chained up he feels complete satisfaction and control. The speaker’s only expression of gratitude after killing Fortunato is ironically, “In pace requiescat,”(1066) meaning rest in peace.
After going to my second session of meditation I began to see how the purpose of meditation in a sense might be seen as ironic. Mediation can be often portrayed as boring and unimportant in our busy day-to-day lives, however the true purpose of mediation is relaxation and a deeper understanding of the self in relation to the mind, body and spirit. People seem to overlook the unpredictability of mediation and it’s ability to allow your body to rest and experience a state of tranquility.