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The Queen of Spades - New Criticism

Lit227 Final Project
by

Kyle Mazure

on 14 December 2012

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Transcript of The Queen of Spades - New Criticism

Irony is the basis of a well put together structure within The Queen of Spades, but exactly how does it do it? Irony Structure Setup The Queen of Spades New Criticism In New Criticism, the text's structure is not separated from the meaning. New Critics also like to use literary devices, such as irony, to achieve a balance between dissimilar elements in a text. The Queen of Spades is a tale about a greedy man named Hermann who wants to become good at gambling to be rich, so he goes out to find the secret three winning cards. Irony took a key role in the plot of Queen of Spades, and was present throughout the story. Pushkin did a great job at switching the direction of the story to create different outcomes. These outcomes usually had to do with irony and a little bit of karma. The first source of irony came from when Hermann kills the old lady because she was so frightened when he pulled a pistol out on her. Death of the Old Lady So instead of getting the three secret cards, Hermann ends up killing the poor countess and does not get what he wants. This is just the first segment of the story that leads to its fully ironic ending. Can't Keep the Promise Pushkin also leads readers in the direction that Hermann will ultimately marry the ward Lizavyeta because the old lady's spirit ordered him to. Unfortunately for him, he goes crazy and gets put in a hospital, and he never ends up marrying her. This is a big turn of events, and is irony because Hermann was greedy and did not truly love Lizavyeta, so he did not deserve to marry her The last major piece of irony that was present in "The Queen of Spades" was when Hermann went and gambled with the three special cards. Losing The Bet He won on the three and the seven on nights before, but when it came to the ace, it turned out he bet on the queen of spades instead. This is the major twist in the story and the biggiest piece of irony, because after all Hermann went through to obtain the secret, it turned out to make him crazy and lose all of his money in the end. All Together Pushkins uses irony to put together a well thought out book. It almost makes you want to go re-read it because of the turns of events and unexpected ending. The structure of the book along with the irony is what help gets the point about greed across, and what it can do to people. Irony is the best way to show how a habit or behavior is bad in my opinion Structure & Meaning From all of the irony, it seems that Pushkin was trying to send some sort of message across. Meaning Pushkin was showing how greed is a bad thing by giving examples of how it can turn on you. Greed was the eventual downfall of Hermann There are a couple different ideas that this could have been Perhaps it was don't be greedy because it may end up hurting you in the end. Or maybe it was not to over-obsess with money It could be, be thankful for what you have The structure of this story makes it self-referential and Pushkin sets this story perfectly to have a big ironic ending. Pushkin leads readers to believe that Hermann will find the countess, get rich from gambling with the secret numbers, marrying the young ward, and living happily ever after. Instead, Hermann's plans obviously go wrong in an unexpected and ironical turn of events. Having the big ironic turn of events at the end sends a message about what can happen if you are to greedy. A lesson learned is that money is not as important as your sanity. Instead of becoming rich from high stake gambling, he loses on the queen and gets put into a hospital where he just sits and says "three, seven, ace" "three seven, queen!" Structure Leads to Meaning By: Kyle Mazure Sources: http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com Purdue OWL http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/puskin.htm
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