Tuesday, February 1, 2011

irony in Roger and Me

Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. In Michael Moore’s documentary Roger and Me, he uses irony as a rhetorical device to show what a bad situation the people and town of Flint, Michigan are in. He actually opens the film with a bit of irony, showing how easy his childhood was and then telling us he desired something more, and wanted to get out of Flint. In showing the viewer how easy his childhood was his actual point is that it wasn’t what he wanted, and to create an ironic contrast of Flint’s beginning with it’s current struggles. He does this again when he shows the black and white television show scene of a mother warmly welcoming her son home. Moore then switches to a scene of his return to Flint after a few years away and we see masses of people losing their jobs at GM. He continually uses this contrast of implied perfection and stark reality through these ironic sequences of scenes, to present the situation Flint is in as a dire one. Further into the film this irony is seen in the only stable job being held by the man responsible for evicting others from their homes, the Sheriff’s Deputy. When GM closes its factory in Flint the workers are celebrating the last car coming off the assembly line, which is ironic because this event is telling of their imminent unemployment. The people of Flint have a parade meant to celebrate the sit down strike that took place there years before, while they are personally losing their jobs. Moore uses irony to show that Flint, Michigan is in a very poor situation, and to evoke sympathy through the contrast and satirical humor used to illustrate this.

1 comment:

  1. In the documentary Roger and Me, Michael Moore tries to get his poin across by using Irony as a main Tactic. One of the biggest forms of Irony is when he is speaking with the wealthier community at one of the functions that they have put on. They are all dressed is fancy clothing and having a good time despite the current loss of jobs. What is ironic is that they feel it is okay to say that the people that just lost their jobs shouldn't dwell on it and should get up and go do something. They feel that they shouldn't be having a hard time with the situation even though they have no clue what those people are going through. Another Ironic situation was towards the end when they were getting ready to officially close the plant in Flint. Moore tries to speak with the spokesperson but she refuses to speak to him. I though that was the job of a spokesperson? Throughout the film, families are constantly being evicted from their homes for no longer being able to pay rent. In one instance Moore and the Sheriff show up at a Woman's house and she immediately calls her landlord. Upon finding out that a film crew is there, the landlord decides not to evict the woman; Three days later she is out on the streets. That fact that a film crew was there prevented him from doing anything the first time, yet once they were gone it was just another day and evicting her was no big deal.