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Zits: ironic flippancy

By Debra Dobbins

As a mother, I got a laugh out of Zits in last Friday’s paper. I think most parents can appreciate irony.

Webster’s first definition of irony is “the method of humorous or subtly sarcastic expression in which the intended meaning of words is their direct opposite of their usual sense.”

Webster’s says that a firehouse burning to the ground is an example of irony. One of my favorites is the saying, “Life is what happens when you’ve made other plans.”

In dramatic irony the audience usually knows something that a character in a book or play does not. The contrast between the two “truths” creates irony.

Buzzle.com gives these examples of dramatic irony from the climax scene of Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet:

“Juliet becomes unconscious after drinking the sleeping potion given by Friar Lawrence. Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead, not knowing that she is merely unconscious. He consumes poison and kills himself. Meanwhile Juliet wakes up from slumber and asks Friar Lawrence where Romeo is. To which Lawrence replies he is unaware of Romeo's whereabouts when actually the audience knows that he was present when Romeo kills himself.”

In Zits Jeremy comments on the irony that his mother has flopped to the floor after skidding on one of his flip-flops.

The temptation to add another panel or two to this cartoon is irresistible:

Flipping out over his flippant remark, Jeremy’s mom grounds him. As he skulks away, her parting shot is, “Irony is what happens when you put your foot in your mouth.”


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