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Are you trying to get your readers hooked on your work? Do you want your audience to be intrigued and entertained by your work? As a writer, you cannot underestimate the power of humor to lure an audience to stay hooked on your work. Humor is one of the most effective literary tools a writer can use to keep his or her readers entertained and therefore interested in their work. Irony helps a writer to add humor to their work. We are going to look at visual irony.
What is visual irony?
To understand visual irony, it is important that we first understand the definition of irony. Irony is a literary device that entails a contrast between what is expected and what actually happens. Or in other words, the difference between what is expected and the reality. Visual irony works on the same principle except that there is the use of images in visual imagery.
The definition of visual irony
Visual irony refers to the type of irony in which two or more images that are different are combined to achieve humor. By “different” I mean that the images do not necessarily have to relate to each other. However, the images used in visual irony must have relevance in a particular context. Needless to say, you cannot just combine any different images and assume that the combination will produce visual irony.
The difference between visual irony and satire
Most writers may confuse visual irony for satire. Satire involves holding up follies or vices to ridicule, with the intent of exposing and criticizing a society’s behavior. Satire is mostly associated with politics. Visual irony on the other hand is used for humor.
The uses of visual irony
To add humor to a literary work
The writer can use visual irony to make their work humorous. One thing about humor is that you cannot force it. Good humor always sounds natural. Readers should easily spot the humor and it immediately appeals to them. Therefore if you can’t create humor in your work, visual irony is easy to use to add humor to your work.
It provides visual elaborations to a writer's work
When the images are not only in context to the writer’s work but also relate to his or her main ideas, they provide visual elaboration to their ideas. For instance:
You want to show how confused workers at an organization are. You can combine a picture of a “no phones allowed in the building” sign which is hung at the main entrance, with a “pay using mobile money” sign just below the first sign.
Examples of visual irony
A picture of a billboard advert that shows a doctor saying “Let’s fight cancer, cancer kills.” And a picture of an advert of a cigarette company that says “Smoke like a pro”. Combining these two images will create a visual irony. The image will have a humorous effect.
A picture of a poster that says “Save our wild animals! Save our heritage! Call our hotline number if you spot a poacher!” And a picture of another poster near the first poster that says “Wildies Joint! We have the sweetest wild meat.” Combining these pictures will create visual irony.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Keith Mbuya