"Tony went to the Bodega but didn't buy anything" by Martin Espada

Essay by tdunk43 April 2006

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The Irony of the Bodega

In Greek comedy, the eiron was the sly underdog who, by dissembling inferiority, outwitted his opponent. As Aristole puts it, irony is a sharp incongruity between our expectations of things and what actually occurs, as if the universe were mocking us. An amazinling talented song writer, Kurt Cobain lead singer of Nirvana committed suicide on March 5, 1994. Kurt Cobain was enriched with money, fame, and a loving family. The irony of Cobain's death, is why would such a successful person be so unhappy? In the poem "Tony went to the Bodega but didn't buy anything," Martin Espada illustrates being successful comes from happiness and self-actualization.

In "Tony went to the Bodega.." Espada shows readers to find happiness you must experience life. For example, Tony's father left the family, leaving a nine year old purtorriqueno boy who had to find work. Years later Tony left the projects too, but with a scholarship for law school.

This shows that there was an ultimate goal Tony had set for himself. Working at the Bodega was not what Tony had wanted to do for the rest of his life so he set a goal to educate himself to be successful. Although when Tony went into the cold spring at university in Boston he became home sick. In addition, Tony walked without a map through the city. This also shows that he went without any guidance and he was trying to find something but wasn't concerned with the results. Espada closes the poem saying "today Tony lives on Tremont Street, above the Bodega." This illustration shows readers that Tony could not find happiness in the life style of the rich and the famous and was content and happy to be back in his culture. From beginning to the end...