Irony In Rape Fantasies Essay, Research Paper
Irony in “Rape Fantasies”
Rape Fantasies, by Margaret Atwood is overflowing with irony. Almost every type of irony is presented in this short story. From verbal to situational to dramatic irony, this story leaves nothing out. The ironic tone adds depth to the plot and makes the short story much more entertaining.
Verbal irony consists of understatements, overstatements, and double entendres. In Rape Fantasies all three types are addressed throughout the story. Greta and Chrissy s rape fantasies understate the impact of rape and what that situation would be like. When Darlene says that they should not go out alone at night, it is an overstatement. Greta responds with a snide understatement, For heaven s sake, it s only Toronto, down playing the chances of rape happening. There is no evidence of double entendres in Rape Fantasies.
Situational irony is also interwoven throughout Rape Fantasies. Chrissy and Greta s rape fantasies are examples of situational irony along with examples of understatements. Their fantasies are not what rape would truly be like but rather what they hope it would be like. Estelle commented about their fantasies by stating that they are just having sex with guys they haven t been formally introduced to yet and actually enjoy it. Another example of situational irony is in Estelle s rape fantasies. She states that in her fantasies strangers rape her but statistics show that women are more likely to be raped by someone they know. I believe the reason her rape fantasies are with strangers are because she does not want to admit to herself that someone she knows is capable of raping her.
Cosmic Irony is like situational irony but it emphasizes the pessimistic and fatalistic side of life. Darlene s overstatement about not being able to go out alone at night is a perfect example of cosmic irony. She implies that a woman s whole life is disrupted by the possibility of being raped.
Dramatic irony is the most predominate type of irony in Rape Fantasies. Dramatic irony is when a character has no information about a situation or else misjudges it. Once again, Greta and Chrissy s rape fantasies are examples of dramatic irony. Through their descriptions it is obvious that either they hope being raped would be more pleasant than others say it is or that they really have no knowledge of what it would be like to be raped. The best example of dramatic irony is at the very end of the story when Estelle is talking to the man at the bar about having a conversation with a rapist to remind him that she is a real human and has a life too. She says she doesn t think the person would be able to go through with the plans after having such a realization. But in the last sentence of the story she states, I know it happens but I just don t understand it, that s the part I really don t understand. She admits she does not know and that adds greatly to the irony.
Margaret Atwood does a beautiful job of setting the tone of the story through irony. The irony in Rape Fantasies adds immensely to the overall theme of the story. Without the irony, there would be no story.