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Irony in Parties: A Hymn of Hate

Irony Examples in Parties: A Hymn of Hate:

Parties: A Hymn of Hate

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"no one else will think of bringing hard-boiled eggs. ..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

Notice the sarcasm with which the speaker expresses disgust over the other participant’s lack of imagination. She mocks everyone who “has it all figured out” and suggests that the majority of the people at the party have brought hard-boiled eggs. This kind of sarcastic, mocking tone suggests that the speaker not only considers the party boring, but also views the people at the party as extremely dull and foolish.

"And yet they shoot men like Elwell...."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

After the speaker’s annoyance with the partner who took the game too seriously, the reader might expect her to appreciate the partner who does not take the game seriously and seems to not know what he is doing. However, with this biting comment, the speaker mocks her partner’s attempt to laugh off his poor playing because people get shot over this game. This comment also remarks on the ridiculous nature of this fact: something a man can laugh at led to another man’s death.

"material..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

The speaker’s use of “material” is a clever double entendre. The word refers to things of physical substance: in this case, the food. The word also refers all things low-minded, unintellectual, non-spiritual. The irony is that the speaker expects a more meaningful phase of the evening, only to confront Harry Lauder records and baby pictures.

"lost arts..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

A “lost art” is an art or trade whose techniques have been lost due to historical and cultural changes. The irony here is that singing is not a lost art. The speaker says it is so because, in the company of the talentless fellow partygoers, it seems that no one knows how to sing anymore.

"If only a guarantee went with that!..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

Parker’s humor ranges from dry to downright morbid, as illustrated in this line. The speaker’s comic interest in death surfaces again in the poem’s final punchline. Parker pulls humor, too, from the dishonesty of everyday speech. Taking the hostess’s dramatic pledge at its word is both funny and revealing—we see how disingenuous we often are in our phrases.

"riot..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

The noun “riot” here is used to describe the party as wild and entertaining. Of course, the speaker is obviously lying to the hostess—the party described is quite the opposite of the lively and uncontrolled activity of a riot. This false sentiment further emphasizes the speaker’s frustration at the inauthenticity, or falseness, of such activities, which prioritize what “should” be done and what “you have to” do over what is true and honest. The personal pronoun “You” here also directly addresses the reader, implicating them in the scene and further inviting us to join the speaker in her condemnation.

"awfully clever..."   (Parties: A Hymn of Hate)

The adjective “clever” used to describe the hostess is undercut by both “awfully” and the following phrase “at that sort of thing.” This line creates a sarcastic tone and suggests that the speaker is belittling both the themed party, and the woman who is capable of hosting such an event.

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