Jonathan Safran Foer uses ironic devices throughout the novel for various purposes. One of Foer’s primary uses of irony is the use of dramatic irony to establish a connection between the audience and writer, as well as to reveal dishonesty and miscommunications between characters without the characters being aware. Letters written by Grandma or Grandpa often leave out information which is later revealed in the other’s letter. One such example is when Grandpa fails to mention that the reason he left Grandma because she had gotten pregnant, while Grandma is quick to address this in her own letter. Instances of dramatic irony like these reveal what characters find important and what they don’t wish to share. Grandpa’s failure to mention Grandma’s pregnancy suggests that he doesn’t want to reveal (to his son) that he left because of it. Dramatic irony can also be found in chapters narrated by Oskar. He often tells the audience when he lies, when he is disappointed, or when he acts differently than he wants to. One instance of this is Oskar’s first lie to his mother. He explains it saying “The next morning I told Mom that I couldn’t go to school, because I was too sick. It was the first lie that I had to tell.” While oskar closes other characters out and lies to them, he is completely open and honest to the audience. This honest relationship between the audience and Oskar gives the audience an emotional connection to Oskar, creating empathy for him. Throughout the book, especially in Oskar’s chapters, many euphemisms are used to convey ideas to the audience which are not explicitly stated. The use of these euphemisms by Oskar rather than explicit and honest words hints at his refusal to face these problems and solve them. Oskar uses the word “inventing” in various instances, and by the end of the book, the term comes to represent his tendency to search for and create imaginary answers to problems he can’t solve. Oskar refuses to accept that there may be no answer, or that there doesn’t need to be an answer, and thus calls his tendency “Inventing” rather than “imagining” or something else more candid.


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