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Written by Jody Perry
Joey Being Sold
Albert's father sells Joey to the military in order to make money and to preserve the future of the farm for Albert. This is ironic because he only succeeds in driving Albert away from the farm as he enlists at the earliest possible opportunity in order to find Joey.
Joey as a "Prisoner of War"
When Joey's regiment is defeated and captured he effectively becomes a "prisoner of war". This is ironic because his "prison" reminds him of home as it is a farm and he is taken care of gently and with love.
Albert Searching For Joey
Albert enlisted in the military so that he could be reunited with Joey and throughout his time in France seeks but does not find him. The ironic thing about this is that he finds him when he is not looking - in fact when he is not paying any attention to the horse being brushed and washed at all. It is his friend who finds Joey - another irony because his friends were starting to think that the horse Albert spoke of constantly did not exist and was not as handsome as Albert described.
When Joey is stuck in No Man's Land it is the German soldiers who wave the white flag of truce in order to free him. The two sides then go on to work well together until Joey is safely with the British soldiers who called the coin toss correctly to earn him. The irony of this episode is actually very sad; the irony of the two sides being told to hate each other and that their opponents are inherently evil when clearly they are very similar; the irony of The the men shooting at each other over issues they don't really understand but working together peacefully when the objective is set out in front of them; and the irony of them reaching a respect for each other and learning a little of each other before going back to trying to kill each other again.
Albert's Father's Reaction to Joey
At the start of the book, it seemed as if Albert's father could not wait to get rid of Joey and that he resented every pat and every piece of straw the horse was provided. Ironically he is more pleased to see Joey than anyone is and he treats him like a thoroughbred horse and a family member, using a soft voice and giving him a lot of love.
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