Consider what follows: “And remember, a hard worker is a happy worker.” By inserting this message, Corporate again imports a false sense of value in the mundane everyman. While their actual role is minimal and disposable, the message to these people is in reality aimed at keeping the little man as complacent, yet efficient, as possible. The final sentence in this passage, “Thank you for shopping at Food-Mart,” is just as condescending. Given that there is no other place to shop, the token of appreciation is actually nothing more than a slap in the consumer’s face, lip service that says just as much about Corporate as it does those it would control.
Later in the story, main character George crosses a Corporate landfill, which includes an airplane graveyard. In this section of the novel, a juxtaposition of the real and the fantastic offers a glimpse of all that might be lost through current abuses of energy, waste, and power. George remembers airplanes, but only as a child. When he is faced with the airplane graveyard, he must reassess his memories, the phasing out of large, fuel-consuming vehicles that occurred during the time of his realization that fantasies such as Santa Claus do not exist in reality. By comparing both to God, there is the implication that the heart and soul of American economy have died with the death of free market and commerce, that corporate takeover have killed the average American’s dream of better things to come—that the average American’s free choice to believe in something greater than the reality standing before him, both limited and grim.
In the classic “show and tell” of literature, irony shows in ways few others might. It allows the reader to look at a given issue from a creative and open point of view, offering an opening for personal take and interpretation with its implied direction. Irony can be direct or implicit, best analyzed through the deconstructionist point of view, offering greater power to the reader in personal interpretation and analysis. Properly used, irony enables the reader to apply a given reading to his or her personal experience, enriching through implication rather than direct prose, allowing the reader to own the text and interpret it as he or she will.
George Irwin remembers a time before the Big Climate Change, back when the airlines were still in business and people still drove their own cars. The world has changed much over his lifetime, but he still believes in the American Dream. When an alleged terrorist act lands his wife in the hospital, however, George stumbles upon a Corporate secret that could mean the end of all civilization.
World-Mart is free on Kindle through this weekend. If you prefer paperbacks, the trade paperback edition of World-Mart is also currently on sale for 10% off the suggested retail price.
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