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Home » Uncategorized » Realism/Irony in Mark Twain’s and Kate Chopin’s short stories:

Realism/Irony in Mark Twain’s and Kate Chopin’s short stories:


As I’ve stated before, Realism indicates that a story is not imaginative or perfect, instead it is conveyed in a meticulous, and unexaggerated way. Displaying that the characters live a life that is very casual and comparable to the ordinary living standards of society. In Mark Twain’s short stories, we find realism in every story that he writes.

One of the comparisons between Mark Twain and Kate Chopin’s short stories is that they both address the issue of slavery. One of the contrasts between Mark Twain and Kate Chopin’s short stories is that gender plays a role in the standpoint of the author. Realistic views would differ from Kate and Mark and their sense of realism is different. Kate Chopin expressed slavery in a way where the slave master and the slave had a decent relationship. In Mark Twain’s “A True Story” Aunt Rachel’s description of slavery and what she dealt with was horrifying.

In Kate Chopin’s short stories, we see La Belle Zoraide, who is a creole, dealing with the effects of slavery and how marriage can be impacted due to slavery. La Belle Zoraide was being heavily influenced by her godmother to marry the mulatto even though she hated him. She wanted to marry a black man named Mezor. This demonstrates the effects of slavery and realism.

Realism is expressed in every story of Mark Twain. To start off, In “A true Story”, we see a slave named Aunt Rachel giving her input on how slavery was for her and how important it was for her to maintain happy throughout her life and not let life get to her. The language used by Aunt Rachel shows the way she spoke and how it wasn’t formal and hardly readable by the reader. This casual form of language demonstrates how the slave talked in her ordinary life and this signifies realism.

In “The bad Little Boy”, we find realism in the way the story ended. Bad little boys are perceived as boys who would end up with a miserable and unhappy life. In reality, the opposite could happen and that’s what happened in the story. This expresses that bad little boys could eventually turn out to be successful and this may be the reality. Same goes with “The good little Boy”, Good little boys are always expected to live a happy and successful life, but in reality, it could be quite the opposite and the good little boy could live a miserable life and face the hardships of it, and that is what is shown to us in the story.


Irony is the choice of words in which that the anticipated meaning is unlike the actual meaning of the word. Irony is found in both Kate Chopin’s and mark twain’s short stories.

Both Authors use irony to express character development such as how La Folle finally crossed the river, and how in Mark Twain, The bad little boy becomes successful.

In Kate Chopin’s short stories, we find that the slave master is very kind to the slave and that there isn’t as much tension as anticipated by the readers. In “Beyond the Bayou”, Irony is displayed when we find that La Folle wouldn’t cross the Bayou due to a traumatic event, but later, what made her cross the Bayou was when Cheri shot his leg and that caused La Folle to cross the bayou due to another traumatic event.

In Mark Twain, we find irony In “The bad little boy who didn’t come to grief” and “The good little boy who did not prosper”. In the stories, we find that the Sunday schools were viewed as false and twain attacks it. The bad little boys are supposed to come to grief and good little boys would prosper. Well the opposite happened in these stories. The bad little boy who did everything wrong didn’t serve any punishment and this is irony because it breaks the visualized expectation of what was supposed to happen to the bad boy. The good little boy did everything right and was very polite, but for some reason, he would always end up being the one who would deal with trouble and not be receiving the benefits of success.


  1. hawks389 says:

    I find that Mark Twain used realism in most of his writings as said with the post above and this made it easily accessible for the readers to relate. The human actions and personality of the characters are relatable and the realistic course of actions and choices taken by the character allows readers to gain a sense and perception and see through the character and understand the setting they are placed in with a realistic imagery. The irony is used similarly to express one idea and the contrast between them. Such as in Mark Twain’s story the “Good Little Boy who Did not come to Prosper”
    we see irony in how well the boy acted so well but in the end he did suffered the most for trying to do good. This giving a realistic and ironic story that readers may find comedic.

  2. lubnamostafa says:

    In “The Story of The Good Little Boy” as you mentioned it tells the story of a “good” boy who never gets rewarded and as readers we can see an aspect of realism there, that being that not every good deed or good boy will be rewarded. However, another aspect of realism in that same story draws my attention to the motives of the “good” boy he performed acts of kindness in search for a reward or recognition so there’s also the sense of what’s visible to others as an act of kindness isn’t always pure and that this so-called “good boy” is more of the selfish side rather than selfless.

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