The Ministry of Irony

The Ministry of Irony
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The idea of the Party is to weaken the independence and strength of people minds and force them to live under a constant state of propaganda which induces mainly fear. Irony continues to play a key role in how the Party functions buy having its ministries named illogically but making people accept it merely because the Party decreed it. The Ministry of Peace is in charge to taking care of the war issues, the Ministry of Love is in charge of the torture and imprisonment and is dark gloomy and have no windows and finally the Ministry of Truth is in charge of rewriting history books in order to change the past and events to suit the parties ideas.

The most prominent form of irony in this book is situational irony because it is defined as an outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected. Characters like Syme and Parsons were both made out to look like the perfect Party members because they were both devoted and brainwashed to believe that party ideas. Syme is a very ambitious fellow who is dedicated on making the latest edition of the newspeak dictionary which is aimed at using the least amount of words to restrict people thoughts.

Even though we would think that he is an ideal Party member, he gets vaporized just as though Winston predicts. Parsons is a fat, gullible and unintelligent man who takes in anything the party throws at him and believes anything. He even believes that when his children turn him in to the Thought Police it is for the greater good. Both these characters are very ironic because they show characteristics that the party is striving to attain in people, yet they get vaporized. Especially Parsons was a shock because we never thought the thought police would arrest him.

This goes to show how no one is safe and the Party will stop anyone they want and suspect. However they are a huge mass that are not motivated to rise against the party and crush them forever. Proles are a symbol of freedom because they are essentially the ones who are not restricted by the party and can live without the stress of being watched or spied on. However we later find out, the one person we would trust turns out to be from the thought police. The final Ironic image is the painting of St. He would always look at it and ponder about its riddle and from the bed in his hide out he would look at it.

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Ironically the only place Winston feels at home and safe if the little loft over Mr. Charringtons shop and in the end we find out the whole time a telescreen was placed behind the picture frame and everything Julia and Winston said was monitored. Not only did the riddle foreshadow their death it created a sense of Irony and how the past can never really prevail.

Charington also is part of the thought police and ends up not being the sweat old man that Winston would trust. Irony comes from the difference between belief and reality. In , situational and verbal irony is used by Orwell to reinforce the idea of the danger of totalitarianism and the idea that human spirits are weak. Virtually all the characters do not behave the way we expect them to and the spirits of people are weakened through physical intimidation.

There is the sense that the society is distorted and nothing is predictable any more. Dramatic irony is lacking in the novel. We as readers are left to discover the world constructed by Orwell, and Orwell is able to surprise and engage the readers constantly to better convey his political view on totalitarianism. Unlike dramatic irony, situational irony is used extensively in the novel. Charrington, the painting of St. In a similar way, Mr. Charrington pretended to be with Winston but was in fact a thought police. These two characters reinforce the idea that in a totalitarian society there is almost no one that can be trusted and that freedom of thought and action do not exist since anyone can turn anyone in for rebellious thoughts or actions.

Orwell could be implying with the name that Winston is just an everyday man. If Winston can be caught and experience all the hardship, anyone can. Similarly, the painting of St. No meaning arises as what is said in standard irony which Grice must have addressed , though, for the speaker merely overtly pretends to be saying something only to communicate an implicature.

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However, some non-prototypical manifestations of irony divert from the Gricean conceptualisation in that they appear to rest on truthfulness, being based on expressed beliefs of which speakers are supportive, and thus, as Grice would put it, on what is said. In this vein, it is also sometimes observed that some irony disconfirms the assumption that irony is based on overtly pretended assertions Recanati ; Soames , insofar as it recruits sincere assertions 4 Kumon-Nakamura et al.

Variously formulated, these claims reverberate across the literature, frequently as criticism of the Gricean account, pinpointing its inadequacy e. Colston ; Attardo ; Utsumi ; Garmendia At a glance, irony rooted in truthful statements, which communicate what the speaker believes to be true, here dubbed verisimilar irony for a different, broader use of this label, see Partington , , does not appear to flout the first maxim of Quality or to necessitate meaning negation.

It will be postulated here, however, that verisimilar irony does display Quality flouting, untruthfulness and meaning negation, albeit by making as if to implicate , i. The prime objective of this paper is to elucidate this non-prototypical type of irony on the strength of the existing literature, and to argue that it is amenable to neo-Gricean analysis. It should be stressed that the pragma-philosophical proposal put forward here is based on a rationalist in a Cartesian sense method of argumentation as opposed to empirical methods reliant on cognitive experiments, for instance and that it serves an explanatory function see also Kapogianni , a , b , describing the focal type of irony in theoretical terms in order to offer a formal acid test for its presence.

The tragedy of an irony

On close inspection, most of these instances do not evince the central characteristics of verisimilar irony. This article is structured as follows. This instance is scrutinised against the backdrop of previous discussions and is shown not to operate on literal expression, contrary to the well-entrenched view, but on a subordinate figure of speech. As a result, two subtypes of verisimilar irony are distinguished, depending on whether they capitalise on truthful what is said, or on making as if to say and truthful implicature.

Since verisimilar irony turns out to be a narrow-scope phenomenon which manifests itself in a limited number of forms, attention is paid also to a selection of problematic examples viewed by other authors as representing what is here dubbed verisimilar irony. It is shown that these are not cases of verisimilar irony and, frequently, no irony at all.

Thereby, any potential criticism that the interpretative model offered here does not encompass such instances is diffused. Indeed, even to date, most of the theoretically-oriented linguistic literature, in tandem with experimental research, devoted to irony has been based on isolated examples, invented or anecdotal, which are further taken for granted and circulated in the scholarship.

Some studies e. Most recently, some corpora have focussed on hashtag as a marker of irony in datasets based on technologically-mediated communication Reyes et al. Thus, this method misses many, if not most, instances of the rhetorical figure, which inherently involves implicitness and, typically, is not indicated via metalanguage. Such an approach is then useful only if the focus is on situational irony or lay understandings.

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Gibbs and Colston ; see Dynel c and need not involve the trope, which is what scholars typically wish to investigate. Additionally, using a single lemma as the search word cannot possibly yield all instances of irony in a chosen discourse database, leaving all un-labelled instances unaccounted for. The second major methodological strategy consists in tracing the occurrence of cues for, or concomitants of, irony in chosen datasets for a good overview of such cues, see Burgers et al. The rhetorical concomitants of irony, such as hyperbole or meiosis, are independent phenomena and cannot be taken as unequivocal cues for its presence, not to mention the fact that they cannot be automatically extracted per se.

These lexemes can also be seen as verbal cues for irony. Nonetheless, such words constitute only a small proportion of the manifestations of irony, and they need not always involve the figure, being used in literal senses. On the whole, automatic searches based on verbal cues would yield inadequate results: too narrow insofar as they limit the findings to chosen search words and miss the instances of irony in which such cues are absent and, at the same time, too broad inasmuch as the cues are not exclusive to irony.

What poses the greatest problem for irony researchers is that the focal figure always involves implicating, and the implicatures arising from irony seem to escape any known search engines. This explains why in most of the still relatively few corpus studies of irony, the authors compile their corpora manually on the basis of their intuitions e. Eisterhold et al. This typically leads to dissecting chosen classes of irony, such as ironic similes Veale and Hao ; Veale or negative constructions Giora et al.

The judgements of such specific species of irony, admittedly, stand less chance of being impaired by personal intuitions of what irony involves. Likely, in order to avoid this personal bias, Burgers et al. However, the model is premised on an assumption that ironic utterances are inherently evaluative see also Partington , Nor do they account for the fact that some ironic utterances are not couched in any, explicitly or implicitly, evaluative expressions Dynel a.

Such may be easily overlooked. The most reliable method of compiling ironic data to date appears to be manual selection of examples premised on proposed definitional components of irony Kapogianni , , , a , b. This method also has obvious limitations, though.

Literary Techniques: Irony

A question arises as to what in theoretical terms triggers the meaning reversal process and promotes this implicature. Irony is critical. Logic and conversation. At a glance, irony rooted in truthful statements, which communicate what the speaker believes to be true, here dubbed verisimilar irony for a different, broader use of this label, see Partington , , does not appear to flout the first maxim of Quality or to necessitate meaning negation. This theory should not be mistaken for the notion of as if implicature proposed here.

This paper, nevertheless, rests on yet another approach in order to define the non-prototypical and, admittedly, empirically rare type of irony. The language data to be analysed are drawn from the existing scholarship. Whether constructed or overheard by the researchers, these instances are presented in the literature as the prototypical cases of the non-prototypical type of irony. As will be shown here, they do not always meet the conditions for verisimilar irony. Without these implicatures carrying criticism of the hearers, the negation-based paraphrases purport to be contextually irrelevant.

Even if the implicatures with adequate referents were added to rectify this irrelevance, a query would persist concerning the reason for performing the twofold negation. This pattern of interpretation is then untenable. In his evaluation reversal approach to irony, Partington propounds an interpretative model which holds that the evaluation communicated by any ironic utterance needs to be reversed in order to be relevant to a given context. In reference to the canonical example, which he views as a case of verisimilar irony, Partington : suggests that the mother is implying a reversed evaluation, i.

A question arises as to what in theoretical terms triggers the meaning reversal process and promotes this implicature. Additionally, what Partington does not spell out is that the reversal of the evaluative verb and adjective involves also a change of the referent of the focal evaluation cf. What is here dubbed verisimilar irony is typically claimed to reside in truthful literal meanings, here conceptualised as what is said.

Alternatively, however, when another Quality maxim flouting is involved, a truthful implicature but no what is said is engendered as an intermediate level of meaning. This happens when a verisimilar ironic utterance is couched in a hyperbole , meiosis or metaphor , 12 which involve independent floutings of the first maxim of Quality cf.

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Grice a []: 33— When prototypical irony based on making as if to say and meaning reversal co-exists with any of the other Quality-based figures of speech, the latter are comprehended logically prior to the ironic meaning on metaphor, see e. Yamanashi ; Stern ; Camp , ; Popa ; Dynel d and this obtains also for verisimilar irony.