Ephinany and Irony in Updike’s Stories

Addresses the use of epiphany and irony as literary devices in Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car and Pigeon Feathers by John Updike.

Author John Updike is regarded as proficient in the use of the literary devices of irony and epiphany, where he utilized the situations in which his characters are located against the environment of the story to either demonstrate an ironic situation or a life- changing realization. Two of Updike’s stories, `Packed Dirt, Churchgoing, a Dying Cat, a Traded Car` and `Pigeon Feathers,` serve as excellent examples of Updike’s use of these techniques. This paper explores these stories in order to demonstrate to the reader exactly how the presentation of irony and epiphany help to direct the fate of the protagonist David Kern within these two short stories.