Ursula Le Guin: Short Stories

Ursula Le Guin: Short Stories Irony

“Nine Lives”

Situational irony occurs in “Nine Lives”. The clones are brought to Libra to increase productivity and assist Martin and Pugh, but by the end of the story productivity has stalled and Martin and Pugh are left to take care of the remaining clone. Equally ironic, the clones’ unity, initially praised as their biggest asset, ends up being the clones’ greatest liability.

“Vaster Than Empires and More Slow”

Situational irony occurs in “Vaster Than Empires and More Slow”. The crew lands on World 4470 in an attempt to receive a peaceful respite from the interpersonal strife aboard the Gum. Ironically, being on World 4470 only amplifies their issues. Also, irony occurs when Osden, the much-maligned crewman, considered by most to be the cause of all of the crew’s problems, ends up saving the crew.

“The Wife’s Story”

Dramatic irony occurs in “The Wife’s Story”. With dramatic irony, the reader knows something the characters in the story are unaware of. In “The Wife’s Story” the reader learns about the husband’s foreignness long before the wife (in the past) becomes aware. The reader receives this information in the form of heavy foreshadowing.

“The Day Before the Revolution”

Dramatic irony occurs in “The Day Before the Revolution”. In “The Day Before the Revolution”, the readers learn of Odo’s impending death while the young revolutionaries are kept in the dark until the story’s end.