A Brief Analysis of the Irony and Sarcasm in Mrs. Warren’s Profession

Chang ZHENG

Abstract


The motivation and purpose of choosing this topic are to probe and investigate George Bernard Shaw’s ironic and sarcastic tone in the play, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, and how irony and sarcasm are skillfully used by George Bernard Shaw to reveal the theme of prostitution as an antisocial profession and the society’s complicity in its own evils.
To have a better analysis of the formal features: Irony and sarcasm, this study tries to approach this play from a formalistic perspective, to add something to our understanding of the writing techniques of this play with the assistance of the methodology of “close reading”.
The term irony and sarcasm are in detailed explanation of examples extracted from the play. Four major types of irony are discussed in this article: verbal irony, situational irony, attitudinal irony and dramatic irony. Verbal irony in its most bitter and destructive form becomes sarcasm, in which the speaker condemns someone by pretending to praise him or her.
Through the analysis, the article finds out that how the four types of irony together with sarcasm, work together to help author’s characterization and bring out the theme of the play: hypocrisy and injustice of the social reality and its complicity in its own evils.
Irony and sarcasm are two of the major writing techniques Bernard Shaw has adopted in this play. The versatile use of them can help forge his dramas, combine moral passion and intellectual conflicts, experiment with symbolic farce, and bring into the spotlight the contemporary issues. Irony and sarcasm are equal to his sharp pen, therefore the investigation on irony and sarcasm can benefit us both as readers and writers.


Keywords


Mrs. Warren’s Profession; Formalistic perspective; Close reading; irony; Sarcasm

Full Text:

PDF

References


Glola, D., & Gwynn, R. S. (Eds.). (2006). The art of the short story. New York: Pearson Longman.

Griffith, K. (1994). Writing essays about literature: A guide and style sheet. Orlando: Harcourt Brace& Company.

Guerin, W. L., & Earle, L. (2004). A handbook of critical approaches to literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Holroyd, M. (1988). Bernard Shaw: A biography (Vol.1.). New York: Random House.

Lawrence, D. H. (Ed.). (1970/1974). The bodley head Bernard Shaw: Collected plays with their prefaces (Vols.7 ). London: Max Reinhardt, The Bodley Head.

Marker, F. J. (1998). Shaw’s early plays. In C. Innes (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to George Bernard Shaw (pp.103-123). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Powell, K. (1998). New women, new plays and Shaw in the 1890s. In C. Innes (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to George Bernard Shaw (pp.76-100). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shaw, B. (1955). Advice to a young critic and other letters. New York: Penguin Company.

Shaw, B. (2000). Mrs. Warren’s profession. In X. M. Cheng (Ed.), Selected reading of British dramas (p.433- 531). Wuhan, China: Wuhan University Press.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/8299

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Studies in Literature and Language




Share us to:   


Reminder

How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.


We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).

 STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE Editorial Office

Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture