In this essay irony is going tobe used to link the two works together. Dramatic, situational, andverbal irony are going to be used to link the two works together. Dramatic irony is used throughout Crime and Punishment. The readerknows that Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov killed the pawnbroker,Alyona Ivanovna, and her sister, Lizaveta Ivanovna. A quote tosupport this is,”He took the axe right out, swung it up in both hands,barely conscious of what he was doing, and almostwithout effort, almost effort, almost mechanically,brought the butt of it down on the old woman’s head. “(Dostoyevsky 114)No one in the novel knows who killed the pawnbroker and her sisterexcept for Raskolnikov.
The police officer, Porfiry Petrovitch,suspects that Raskolnikov killed the pawnbroker and her sister buthe cannot prove it. The reader also knows that Luzhin puts money in Sofya SemyonovnaMarmeladov’s pocket when she is not looking. After Sofya, whosenickname is Sonia, finishes talking to Luzhin she leaves. Soniahas no idea that Luzhin has put money into her pocket. Raskolnikov’s friend, Andrei Semyonovitch Lebezyatnikov, waspresent when all of that takes place. “All of this was observed byAndrei Semyonovich.
” (Dostoyevsky 460) Luzhin goes to a receptionfor Sonia’s father, Semyon Zakharovitch Marmeladov, and announcesthat Sonia is a thief. Sonia immediately denies the accusation. Luzhin tells her to look in her pocket. Sure enough the money thathe was missing was there. Luzhin wants Sonia to marry him but shedoes not love him.
Luzhin plans to blackmail Sonia into marryinghim. Lebezyatnikov steps in to save the day when he says, “I sawit. I saw it. .
. . And even though it’s againstmy convictions, I would be prepared to swear to iton oath in any court of law you’d care to name,because I saw how you slipped it into her pocketon the sly!” (Dostoyevsky 465)A Doll’s House also contains many examples of dramatic irony. In ADoll’s House the reader is aware that Nora borrowed money fromKrogstad without her husband’s permission.
Nora also forged herfather’s name to gain the money. She says, “You don’t know all. Iforged a name. ” (Isben 44) In the following conversation betweenNora and Christine it is clearly stated that Torvald does not knowof Nora’s actions: “Mrs.
Linde. And since then have you nevertold your secret to your husband? Nora. Good heavens, no!” (Isben13)Another example of dramatic irony in A Doll’s House is when Norawants to practice a dance called the Tarantella. When Torvald goesto look in the letter box Nora says, “Torvald please don’t. Thereis nothing in there. ” (Isben 46) The reader knows that Nora hasnot forgotten the dance.
The reader knows this when Torvald goesto check the mail and Nora begins to play the Tarantella. Norathen says, “I can’t dance to-morrow if I don’t practise with you. “(Isben 46) The reader knows that all Nora is trying to do is keepTorvald from reading the mail which contains a letter fromKrogstad. Situational irony is also used throughout the two works.
In Crimeand Punishment Raskolnikov is the one who murdered the twosisters. It was totally unexpected when Nikolai came to the policeoffice and said, “I’m the guilty one! The sin is mine! I’m themurderer!” (Dostoyevsky 413) The reader did not expect Nikolai toconfess to the two murders because the reader knows thatRaskolnikov is the one who murdered the two sisters. Porfiry didnot expect Nikolai to confess either. He was positive thatRaskolnikov had murdered the pawnbroker and her sister. It is also ironic when Raskolnikov goes to the police station andsays, “What if it were I who murdered Lizaveta and the old woman?”(Dostoyevsky 211) Zamyotov just sits back and smiles.
Raskolnikovthen says, “Admit that you believed me! You did didn’t you?”(Dostoyevsky 211) “Of course I didn’t! And now I believeyou even less!” (Dostoyevsky 211) The reader expects Zamyotov todo his job and arrest Raskolnikov when he confesses to themurders. Letting Raskolnikov is a surprise to everyone includinghimself. In A Doll’s House there are also examples of situational irony. Anexample of situational irony is when Nora leaves Torvald. There isno hint that Nora is going to leave Torvald until the end of thebook.
At the beginning of the book she acts as if she loves himvery much. Not until she says, “Or if anything else should happento me-anything, for instance, that might prevent me from beinghere-” (Isben 45) does anyone think about Nora leaving Torvald. Atthe end of the play she calls Torvald a “stranger” and walks out. The reader does not expect Mrs. Linde and Krogstad to have beenget married. The reader does not even know that they are friends.
When Christine, Mrs. Linde, says, “Nils, how would it be if we twoshipwrecked people could join forces. ” (Isben 51) The reader findsout that Christine and Krogstad need each other. No one expectsChristine to want to be with Krogstad because he has been corruptin the past. But Christine also knew and loved Krogstad in thepast. Raskolnikov says many ironic things throughout the novel.
When heis trying to confess to Zamyotov he says, “All earsupstairs?”(Dostoyevsky 207) He really does not mean if Zamyotov’sears are physically upstairs. He is asking Zamyotov if he islistening to what he is saying. He just wants Zamyotov to listencarefully to what he is about to say. After Raskolnikov receives a letter from his mother he says,”Because the whole thing is perfectly clear. ” (Dostoyevsky 74) Theletter is not clear or opaque.
Raskolnikov understands the lettercompletely. He is able to see what his mother is trying to say inthe letter. He says, “No, mother, no, Dunya, you won’t full me!”(Dostoyevsky 74) He realizes that his mom and sister are trying tofool him in the letter. Verbal irony is also present in A Doll’s House.
When Helmer says,”Is that my little skylark twittering out there?” (Isben 3) He isnot really asking if Nora is a bird. He is not even saying thatshe is twittering like a bird. He is just asking if it is hiswife, Nora, and if she is saying something. When Torvald Helmersays, “Is it my little squirrel bustling about?” (Isben 4) He doesnot think that Nora is a squirrel either.
Nora has her share of verbal irony too. When she is sitting downtalking to Mrs. Linde she says, “There now, it is burning up. “(Isben 15) The place is not literally burning up.
The house is noton fire. Nora is just stating that the temperature inside thehouse is hot. Nora then gets up and, “Shuts the door of the stoveand moves the rocking-chair aside. ” (Isben 15)All three types of irony are used throughout the two works.
Crimeand Punishment and A Doll’s House would be incomplete withoutirony. Irony plays an important role in any type of literature. Irony is used to help show the opposite of what is actually saidand/or done. I think that without irony there would be noliterature.
I think that literature would be boring and plain ifthere was no irony to add to its originality and creativity.