Definition of Irony from Personal Experience

Essay by spoonman419College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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It was my first visit to Florida and I was finally going to catch a glimpse of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. As a child, I heard its glory described to me by friends that had gone on beach vacations. To run and leap into the crashing waves seemed a reoccurring dream of mine. Strolling down the oceanfront boardwalk, I lifted my head high into the warm breeze, catching the salty water vapors in my nose and sighing with anticipation. The feeling of excitement never ran so intense, at least that is compared to the sudden jolt of dismay. I guess my enthusiasm was temporarily blinding, for I completely missed that guy on crutches...

This was my first hardcore experience with that sly miscreant we call "irony." There I was all hyped up about playing in the ocean and surfing along with all that good stuff, when this huge guy on crutches comes out of nowhere and trips me.

Of course, in accordance with the rules of irony, I was practically incapacitated after the violent tumble. I turned to my friends who were quite engaged in fits of laughter and I let out a scream fueled by anger coupled with nagging pain. Not only did I miss my chance to play in the waves, but I had to sit there and watch my tactlessly inconsiderate friends have the good time.

That particular experience coincides best with Webster's definition of irony as an "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result." Although I find that definition too succinct, I will illustrate how my ocean situation relates. This was definitely one of the most exciting times of my life. The anticipation building up to that day was very intense and prolonged. Had I gone...