America: God, Gold, and Golems Irony

America: God, Gold, and Golems Irony

Irony of Elijah Young ("The Revival")

In "The Revival," Joseph and Sarah Bainbridge encounter an old man on their pilgrimage to Cane Ridge who looks close to dying. They agree that this feeble man doesn't have long to live. Ironically, this old man is actually Elijah Young, the famously charismatic preacher they're going to see at the Revival. Far from feeble, he is actually energetic and furiously emphatic.

Irony of Jem's Death ("Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight")

In the opening scene of "Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight," the white men brutally kill and abuse the Chinese occupants of Solomon's Gulch until they abandon the town. These Chinese have no funeral and receive no pity from the Americans despite the horrible ways in which they died. The next scene is that of a funeral, but it's a funeral for Jem Harper, one of these terrible white men who died in a freak accident in the mines. Ironically, he's the one with a proper, emotional funeral service, and everyone present is far more emotionally impacted by his death than those of the many Chinese men who were murdered earlier.

Irony of Skinny ("Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight")

Skinny seems to be a poor, old miner with nothing had and nothing to lose. Ironically, he is far from poor; in the words of Althea Harper, he's actually "loaded," with heaps of money in a giant bag that he's been saving and hiding away. He also has deeper and darker secrets than might appear to be the case, and Weeks kills to preserve them.

Irony of the Golem ("The Golem's Mighty Swing")

The Golem costume is an attempt fabricated by Paige and endorsed by the Stars of David to use the Jewish heritage of the team to make a significantly larger profit. Ironically, the golem has the complete opposite effect, leading to a riotous mob and the loss of money and dignity on the part of the team.

Irony of the Marketplace ("The Golem's Mighty Swing")

When Mo chases the young boys who threw rocks at him, they end up in a marketplace, where the boys accuse Mo of chasing them before the scene cuts away. The reader assumes that Mo will be arrested or face other unjust charges, but ironically, when the scene shifts back to Mo, he's telling stories and happily talking with the people in the market, who present him with gifts for the team. This intentional irony is skillful on the part of the author, playing on the audience's expectations and turning them around.

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