Use Of Irony In The Book Of Daniel

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In The Book of Daniel, a recurring theme to be found is the author’s critique of sentiment in scenes that are supposed to be extraordinarily sentimental. In the 20th and 21st century, a popular way that sentiment is implemented by authors in their writings is through irony, which is a tactic often used by E. L. Doctorow as well. For instance, in The Book of Daniel, Doctorow uses the most extreme cases in his book by having an angry, conditioned irony as the sentimental mode. The only way that Daniel can communicate his emotions is through this type of irony and by doing so Daniel is made “whole” again. This tactic may either hinder the reader’s ability to sympathize with the narrator or it may stimulate even more sentiment. Throughout this novel, it is evident that there are many aroused “voices”, some even addressing directly to the reader. Doctorow takes emotional situations that are meant to be taken seriously and tends to always go back to Daniel’s enraged and passionate way of thinking…show more content…
Though Phyllis does love Daniel, he does not give her the same type of love in return. Daniel merely uses Phyllis as a sexual object whenever he pleases and uses her to feel powerful. On Memorial Day, Daniel and his family are driving in the rain when he impulsively tells Phyllis to take her clothes off in the car even though it is clear that she doesn’t want to. When Phyllis refuses, Daniel turns off the car’s wipers and presses his foot against the accelerator, making the car go a lot faster. Phyllis is terrified now that Daniel will crash the car with the baby there and the text says, “Phyllis unbuckled her belt and unzipped her fly…. “I’m going to tell them,” she said. “I’ll tell them what you do to me and they’ll put you right there with your sister. The both of you!”” (59). Daniel merely responds back to his wife’s threat by saying “All the way off, please” and Phyllis

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