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Irony in To a Steam Roller

Irony Examples in To a Steam Roller :

To a Steam Roller

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"might fairly achieve It..."   (To a Steam Roller)

In these lines, the speaker mocks the steamroller for its lack of subjectivity and feeling. The steamroller’s approach to “aesthetic matters” is “impersonal” and objective. In a satirical twist, the phrase “‘impersonal judgment in aesthetic/matters, a metaphysical impossibility’” is itself conveyed in an impersonal, academic tone. Moore’s use of quotation marks points to the satire of the phrase. The speaker uses the words, but disowns them.

"' ..."   (To a Steam Roller)

The quotation marks around these lines suggest that the speaker is incorporating an external source in order to make her point. This quotation comes from an article written by Lawrence Gilman about the music of Leo Ornstein. This is not an allusion to a famous piece of criticism, but rather an obscure academic text used to bolster her point. This form of citation and obscurity adds to the academic tone of these lines. Ironically, the speaker uses the very means by which the steamroller communicates ideas in order to disprove its theoretical position.

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