Part One

Introduction --- Diving Into Irony 1

CHAPTER 1 - What is it About Irony? 7

Why Can't We Agree on What it is? 7
The Age We Live in 9
Why We Don't Agree 11

CHAPTER 2 - What Irony Isn't 13

Irony Isn't What You Think it is 13
Dramatic and Situational Irony 15
Verbal Irony 16
Not Sarcasm 16
Not Satire Either 17
How About Incongruous? 18
What a Coincidence! 18
A Matter of Trust 21
Hyperbole Anyone? 22
Luck and Irony 23
The Hoax 25
Some Contradictions 25
Paradox Wrapped in Irony 26
The Cynic 26
Miscellaneous 27

CHAPTER 3 - What Is Irony? 29

The Many Faces of Irony 29
Verbal Irony 30
Dramatic Irony 34
Situational Irony 37
Life's Little Ironies or Fate and Cosmic Irony 38

CHAPTER 4 - Beyond The Veil 47

Irony From Both Sides 47
Where Do You Stand? 47
Does Irony Divide or Unite? 48
Cynicism versus Irony 48
Some quotes from those on both sides: 50
Can we count on words? 52
Irony, Ethics and Aesthetics 53
Irony In Politics 54

CHAPTER 5 - Evolution of Irony 59

Origins & Current Use 59
Basics 59
Socratic Irony 60
The Renaissance 64
The Age of Reason 65
Romantic Period (Romanticism) 66
Victorian Period 68
Modern Period 70
Post Modernism 71
Twenty-first Century Irony 72

CHAPTER 6 - Irony Can Change Your Life 75

Where is the Irony in Your Life 75
Irony As A Tool 76
Irony - The New Reality 79
Attraction is a funny thing 80
Self Awareness 81
Irony; not just a buzzword 82
Happiness vs. Success 82
The Purpose Driven Life 84

Glossary 87

Bibliography 93

Part Two

Ironic Classic Short Stories -

Satire and Dramatic Irony


A Modest Proposal - By Dr. Jonathan Swift 95


The Gift of The Magi - By O. Henry 107


The First Writing Machines - By Mark Twain 115


The Diamond Necklace - By Guy de Maupassant 119

Irony Effect Cover

"I contradict myself? Then I contradict myself! I am large; I have multitudes in me."
— Walt Whitman, 'Song of Myself'


“Irony is a gift of the gods, the most subtle of all the modes of speech. It is an armour and a weapon; it is a philosophy and a perpetual entertainment; it is food for the hungry of wit and drink to those thirsting for laughter.”
— Somerset Maugham


“Cynicism is sarcasm with a large brush that paints everything it touches black.”
— Barbara Middleton


"Irony: The one form of humor that everyone thinks they understand, when actually no one really does. Truly, it is the cleverest joke ever played on mankind."


"Irony so often derided as a cheap defense, a hedged bet, betraying lack of confidence in the material -- is much more often a welcome acknowledgement that the material isn't worth serious consideration."
—Stephen Splatz


“Who else but me is ever going to read these letters”? —Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Buy the book 'The Irony Effect' here

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