The Silver Sword

The Silver Sword Irony

Dramatic Irony: Joseph In Warsaw

When Joseph returns to Warsaw after his imprisonment, he spends time looking around the burned down houses and the cellars, ironically at the same time that his children are living in a burned cellar under the house they used to live in.

Situational Irony: Jan's Feelings About Germans

Jan absolutely hates Germans, but he would love to be adopted by Herr and Frau Wolff, the German couple that takes the children in. Despite the fact they had a son who was a soldier in the German army, a person whom Jan feels obligated to hate, he tells them that, if it were not for being committed to going to Switzerland with the Balickis, he would love to stay. The irony is further pronounced when Frau Wolff tells Jan he is actually a lot like her deceased son because of their mutual love of animals.

Dramatic Irony: Jan's New Mother

Jan asks Margrit to be his mother; ironically, though, he is actually quite disobedient and mean to her. He only obeys Ruth—technically his sister, but actually his real mother figure. This irony helps solidify the fact that Jan and other orphaned children have difficulty in the aftermath of losing their parents and their entire sense of a meaningful world. It is not surprising that Jan is psychologically traumatized, nor that he manifests this in bad behavior and difficulty sorting out his new relationships and reality.

Dramatic Irony: Finding Edek

The sisters and Jan leave the holding camp disappointed that they did not find Edek, but, ironically, he is already at the refugee camp they go to after their fruitless search for him. Ultimately, he is the one who discovers them, rather than the other way around.

Dramatic Irony: Edek and the Burgomaster

There is irony in the interactions between Edek and the Burgomaster. First, it is ironic that Edek is near to the site of the Burgomaster’s crash: if he were not so close, he could have avoided the interaction, and perhaps he and his siblings would have been safe for longer. Second, Edek is kind and generous—the ultimate Good Samaritan. He even wisely comments that he does not hate all Germans. However, ironically, the Burgomaster turns out to be immune to such good deeds and sentiments, and becomes one of the most opprobrious figures in the text.