With a revamped first sentence in the service of clarity:
On the island of Tsalal, Poe foregrounds the ironic gap between signifier/signified, action/intention, and appearance/reality. Sometimes Pym registers an irony and sometimes he patches up an irony. Examine the anthropological observations in chapter 19 and compose an argument about why Pym is given to do both. What does he allow himself to see? What does he dismiss or not fully see? What adds up and what does not?
Signifier = word (ie. “tree”)
Signified = concept behind the word (ie. organic thing with branches and leaves)
Patches up = smooths over a discrepancy so that an irony is squelched or not registered.