Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dramatic Irony

Regardless of the short length of the chapter, I feel like the outcome of the brief story was filled with dramatic irony. The story demonstrated just what the war did to people, turning them against their own side and making enemies with those who should be trusted. In the army, all they had was themselves and their men. Nothing else. It was them against the enemy and that was all there was to it. It's sort of a scary thought, actually, considering there wasn't opportunity to fight with the ones who were fighting along with them. If soldiers on the same side couldn't even be friends, then there was no chance of winning the war at all.
This chapter also showed how short soldiers' tempers could become. Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk got into a meaningless fight over a missing jackknife, and Dave ended up breaking Lee's nose because of it. Afterwards I think he felt so guilty that he felt the need to make up for it somehow. In the end, he decided to break his own nose as a way of apologizing. Strunk went along with it and said that there were no hard feelings anymore.
That was where I saw the dramatic irony. Dave Jensen inflicted pain on himself to be freed of the guilt he felt for hurting Lee Strunk about his missing jackknife when he thought he was actually innocent. What he didn't realize was that Lee really had stolen it and he hadn't been crazy for accusing him in the first place.
"Strunk nodded and said, Sure, things were square. But in the morning Lee Strunk couldn't stop laughing. 'The man's crazy,' he said. 'I stole his fucking jackknife.'" (page 61)
Poor Dave. He broke his nose for no reason after all.

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