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Literature

Literature

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Published by Kanishk Hemani
Irony
Irony

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Published by: Kanishk Hemani on Nov 28, 2012
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11/04/2013

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Kanishk HemaniA0067293XIronic Piece of WritingI Told You I Was RightThis tale is one of death, I assure you it is. The night had been a rough one, you know, the usualbottles of wine and a bit of hash but nothing really intoxicating. We had a great time, Julia and I, wetalked or rather the effects of the wonderful stimulants allowed speech to flow freely.Julia went to bed after a night of constructive conversation; we discussed Chomsky, Dostoyevsky andThe Big Lebowski. She said she wanted to go bowling, I told her it was important to undertake such
activities when one was wide awake, you don’t want a heavy ball falling on your foot
when youa
ren’t wearing those
 
bowling shoes. She went to bed thinking I was going to leave her, she wasn’t
too far off. It was getting boring; she only asked me if I wanted to go bowling or if I had any hash left.I stayed up, the view was breath taking. I looked out of the balcony and gazed at the pool, the murkywater and I gazed at it for hours wondering why it was murky. Single malt whiskey, wine, hash,cigarettes and Pablo Neruda; I finished them all as the night wore on and wondered why the poolwas murky. Dawn came, Julia stirred, and I knew I had to leave her unless she left me first. I was toolazy to leave her, she would have to do it or I would have to make her. I spent the next few momentsthinking about how to rid myself of her.I was drunk and hung-
over, a weird combination since I hadn’t been to bed yet. But I felt it, the same
throbbing headache and the h
eated skin. I felt like I was dying, had Julia poisoned me? I didn’t care;at least I wouldn’t see her for some time. After a while, I couldn’t think, I still had a glass of whiskey
with ice that had been melted for hours. The Sun was coming up and I started wondering how long itwould take for it to dry up the pool.The glass was empty, yet I remained seated staring into the distance. I heard the shower, Julia must
be in there. I should leave now, she wouldn’t realise I was gone. I continued staring blan
kly and I saw
a man in red fall from above, past my balcony. I said to Julia, “A man just died.” I could still hear theshower. I said again, ‘A man just died.” The shower stopped, “You are
 
drunk.”
 
She didn’t believe me.“A man in red just fell down,” she wouldn’t believe me. “Where did he fall from?”
 
she asked. I didn’t
know where he fell from, probably from somewhere above us. I told her as much, she was still in the
shower and I heard her say “Go get some sleep.”
 
I don’t know why, but I wanted her to believe me. She had to know I wasn’t lying, I was drunk but Isaw what I saw. “If you don’t believe me, look over
the balcony and have a look at
the dead man.”
, Itold her. She got out of the shower with wet hair and a towel draped around her, I wanted to leaveher then and there.
She walked past my chair and peered over the balcony and said “Oh my God!”,and began vomiting. “I told you there was a dead man; I told you I was right.” I still hadn’t gotten out
of my chair.
 
Analysis
The piece “I Told You I Was Right” chronicles the night of one man which begins with him and his
partner indulging in the vices of alcohol and other stimulants. He stays up throughout the durationof the night allowing him to mull over matters that plague him with the assistance of theaforementioned stimulants. As daybreaks he sees a man fall past his balcony. He alerts his partner asto the events he was witness to. She refuses to believe him but when she sees the dead body downbelow, his assertions are vindicated.The irony in the piece has two facets. The first is the character portrayal in the first few paragraphsof the piece. The second being the, events that unfold towards the later end in relation to thecharacter portrayal. The tone has been intended to be matter of fact with simple short sentencesconveying the notion of a conversational narrative without any embellishment.Analysing the irony buried within the character portrayal starts with the initial presentation of himas a drunk and degenerate. At the same time, he is a highly intellectual man with an interest inphilosophers and myriad thoughts. He sp
eaks of Chomsky and Dostoyevsky as part of a “constructiveconversation”, this is juxtaposed with the movie, The Big Lebowski, which revolves around the sport
of bowling. The juxtaposition of the two authors and the movie highlights a contradiction symbolisedby the character. He is presented as a lost intellectual, being well-read and knowledgeable while atthe same time he is capable of some the most absurd thoughts. The issues regarding the murkinessof the pool and the time required to dry it plague him throughout the night. One might blame it onthe alcohol and drugs that he had consumed, but it begs the question if he would be in the sameposition if he was sober. The piece alludes strongly to the influence of alcohol and drugs for hishaphazard mental state. However, the tone of writing and tense imply that the piece has beenwritten in retrospection of the night
s events. Therefore, it is safe to say that the piece is a not anarration of the events of that night as they happened, but a retrospection of that night. This wouldsuggest that, the character was not in the same state of intoxication when he was writing as he wason that night; most probably he was sober as he makes a comparative analysis of that night being
particularly “rough”. From this we can glean that the character need
not be under the influence tohave flippant thoughts and comments.To add to his intellectual exercise during the night, one problem is most troubling, that of hispartner. He makes it clear that he wants to leave her numerous times and this remains a recurringtheme throughout the piece. Every time he brings it up,
he doesn’t necessarily reject it but accepts it
that he has to leave her. But he takes no action in that regard. He mulls over it and reaches adecision only to discuss an irrelevant point subsequently in the form of bowling or the pool. At thispoint, the events in conjunction with the character portrayal can be analysed. His portrayal as alearned yet degenerate being is supplemented by the way he mentions the death of the man as if itwere a matter of fact. No emotions, no concern; just an observation. But in the scheme of what hastranspired prior to this observation, it is to be expected. The lack of commitment to anything -ranging from his random deliberations to his desire to remain with his partner or the death of theman - is symptomatic of his character.Throughout the piece he comes off as someone who has no commitment to anything whether it is
his thoughts or his partner. But the incident of the man’
s death brings about a change. He mentionsthe death to his partner, but upon her refusal to believe him he takes it as an affront to his integrity.

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