Toad Words A Short Story Essay Example

Have you ever read a short story that is connected to so many things we probably already know about? In many short stories, there might be hidden meanings that can tie back into things we are already aware off. Many short stories that I have read, I’ve noticed that they have hidden meanings within it. Literary devices are used in stories to break down the actual deeper meaning of that specific story. A quantity of stories may have different meanings we can interpret from it but it doesn’t necessary mean that there is only one meaning that is correct. In the short story "Toad words" by Ursula Vernon uses subverted cliche, situational irony, and protagonist to argue that we should take more care of the environment especially toads and frogs.

Vernon uses the literary device subverted cliche to argue that we should care more about frogs and toads. The whole short story was about a girl who had a bad curse and she made the best out of that bad situation. This story was written in modern time and was trying to spread awareness about how frogs and toads were going extinct and how we should take more care of them. The main character of this story was the antagonist of another story called "The fairies" who was rude to the fairy godmother, so she cursed her with a spell where frogs and toads would come out of her mouth whenever she talked. This is subverted cliche because it means that it overthrows/destroys a cliche which is a stereotype that mostly all fairytales end up about a girl being saved with a prince. The character was meant to be bad in the original story but she ended being good and trying to take care of the environment by saving the frog and toad species. She did this by going to the pet store to save a african bull dog that she threw up. According to Brandi Reissenweber, in his article, "George Orwell described clichés as those images, concepts or phrases that have "lost force." Most clichés probably started off as fresh and exciting but have lost their energy over repeated use." Original cliches probably have been overdone so many times that Vernon wanted to try something new with the story and make it unique and unexpected. The main character made the best out of a bad situation and started to do something to save the world and the environment.

The author uses a lot of situational irony in the story because it’s the completely opposite of what I expected. This story contains situational irony because it was tied into a fairytale, I expected it to be similar to a fairytale storyline. This character was meant to be the bad and evil since she was rude to the fairy godmother and got a curse of the frogs and toads throughout "The Fairies" story. I was waiting for the character to have a bad image and a bad stereotypical storyline but it never happened. The character ended up caring so much about the environment that she wanted to do everything she could to save it. According to Ursula Vernon, she says that the amphibians are going extinct and when you go ponds, she hears them dead silent. The character wanted to fix that because since she had the magic of "throwing up" toads and frogs. When the character found out they were going extinct, she became so shocked and gasped that she threw up a african Bullfrog and tried to figure out a way to save it since they were very rare at the time. She finally decided to take it to a pet store and wrote down what she wanted the clerk to do with it.

Vernon uses protagonist in the story "Toad Words" because she was the evil sister of the story "The fairies" and was known as the antagonist of the story because she was so stuck up to her sister and rude to everyone including the fairy godmother. She got cursed because she went to look for the god mother after she found out that her sister was blessed with diamonds. She ended up being rude and and got the curse of toads, frogs, and vipers. She later became the good character of the short story "Toad Words" and it became shocking because it wasn't expected at all from that character. In the short story, the character was aware of what she would say that would make her throw up either toads or frogs. According to Lara Woltag, "A protagonist is the character at the center of a story and is the one whose goals readers are intended to support." In the specific story "Toad words" we were suppose to like and support the main character and her goals which were to save the world. Woltag also talks about how the protagonists are supposed to be liked but "they often have flaws, such as greed, gullibility, or naivety." In this story, she was known as ungrateful and rude because of the "The fairies" story. But, the flaws of the protagonist are there for a good reason which is, as she stated, "obstacles that protagonists must overcome in order to reach their goals." So, the "throwing up" toads and frogs was a obstacle she had to go through in order to do to tell us the message she was trying to tell which is to save the environment. Although the character had flaws, she also had good characteristics which was kindness and empathy.

"Toad Words" is a short story about a character who was trying to save the environment through a tough situation she was put in. The short story "Toad Words" had many literary devices but the ones I chose to use and explain were subverted cliche, situational irony, and protagonist in the short story. The main argument of the story was that we should take care of the environment and we should be more aware about what is happening around us and how the animals are getting extinct. I used this as my main argument of the story but there can be multiple meanings to this specific story that is different than mine. She was trying to spread awareness about the situation. We should start becoming more aware of the animals around us. Next time you read a story, use literary devices to figure out the deeper meaning behind the story.


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