A. Pushkin’s “Queen of Spades”)

Description Even though Pushkin’s story is rather easy to follow, I have made the Assignment more challenging than the ones we have had so far. To do well, please read Preview Points and especially the following note on Situational Irony included below. This Assignment is followed by Discussion 2 which you will be completing the week after Spring Break, but once you submit it here, please copy/paste your answer to the question about ironies and post it in the Discussion area between this Thursday at noon and Friday midnight (March 15) before you leave for the Break. You are divided into three Groups again, but this time each Group shares two identical questions. I promise to be more forgiving if you don’t quite get the right responses, but please give it your very best shot. Naturally, the question asking you to identify and explain five ironies is most demanding and elaborate and therefore worth half of your score. Note on Situational Irony: The situational (also described as circumstantial) irony is not that common in our daily experience but is used extensively in literature, especially modern and contemporary. It arises out of an incongruity between what fictional characters expect to happen and what actually does happen, between what seems to be true and what is true. It’s about the disparity between expectation and outcome as well as between appearance and reality. For a situation and/or event to qualify as ironic in a literary piece, though, it is essential that the outcome and/or actual reality are determined by the plot of the story and corroborated by its text. Once it passes that test, the outcome/actual reality need to meet the following three criteria: the outcome/reality is the most unexpected/ least expected or the opposite of what was expected (known then as paradox) the outcome/reality is revealing or addressing some major themes, issues, or points in the story the outcome/reality is deliberately clever, entertaining, and maybe even educational In short, a character’s mere disappointment with the way things turn out is not yet irony. Neither is some surprising twist in the plot you as reader did not see coming. To prove irony, you need to identify the character it applies to and show whether that character is aware of that irony. Often, the character will not see/acknowledge the irony himself, which will invite the attentive reader to catch that irony him/herself. A seasoned reader will also uncover broader thematic or conceptual ironies through a closely engaged interpretation of the text. Such ironies are naturally not available to the characters inhabiting the world of the story.