The Role Of Dramatic Irony In Stephen Crane's Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets

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The Role of Dramatic Irony in Maggie, A Girl of the Streets The use of dramatic irony in Stephen Crane’s novella, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets builds dramatic tension by eliciting a sense of pity towards the characters and lends the conclusion an air of disappointment tinged with inevitable doom. Crane uses the relative cynicism of the audience compared to the innocent Maggie to build the anticipation for her eventual fall. He employs this tactic particularly when dealing with Pete and his relationship with Maggie, Jimmy and his overall personality, and the world as a whole and its perceived opportunity. This creates the inevitability in the conclusion, and coupled with Maggie’s sudden maturation late in the book, the disappointment. Dramatic irony plays a key role in the audience’s interpretation of not only the conclusion, but the novel as a whole. Pete in particular is a character …show more content…
Pete and Jimmy are prime examples of dramatic irony, having both been involved in several of its important and discernible moments. Key facets of their character development are revealed to the audience alone, and Maggie is left with her romantic ideals of the two which will inevitably be disappointed. Inevitability is a large part of the novel’s message, and the conclusion displays this with alacrity; the whole plot line hurtles towards the inescapable death of Maggie. Contrary to that concept, Crane injects small increments of hope through the positive character development, creating a conclusion that was obviously inevitable, yet still disappointed those who believed in Maggie. In conclusion, dramatic irony is used throughout Maggie, A Girl of the Streets with exceptional dexterity to create sympathy, make key moments more impactful, and create a conclusion that was both inevitable and