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o An author or character says something, but means
something else.
o What is said is often the opposite of what is meant.
➤ Verbal Irony
o The character is aware of the irony.
o The reader is aware of the irony.
➤ Dramatic Irony
o The reader knows something about a character's situation
that the character(s) does not know.
o The character is unaware of the irony. o The reader is aware of the irony.
➤ Situational Irony
o What actually happens is not what is expected to happen. o Situational irony often defies logic.
o The character does not expect the outcome (irony).
o The reader does not expect the outcome (irony).
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How Ironic
Verbal irony is a contradiction between what is said and what is meant. The following is an example.
Sarah's alarm did not go off on time, and she was late for the bus. When she arrived at work, she realized she had put on two different shoes. To top it off, she spilled coffee all over a report that she had worked on all weekend. "Just great. I can tell this is going to be a perfect day!" Sarah exclaimed.
Because Sarah's day had been a disaster and was likely to continue that way, her statement regarding the remainder of the day was an example of verbal irony.
Situational irony is a twist of fate in which the results of certain actions are not consistent with the expected results. The following is an example.
"This will help Michelle to focus on something other than her no-good ex-boyfriend," thought Tony. He wrapped the roses carefully, then gave them to Michelle.
Tears filled Michelle's eyes. "Tom always gave these to me on special occasions," she said in a broken voice.
Instead of helping to cheer up Michelle as Tony had expected, the roses instead reminded her of her ex-boyfriend.
1. Describe a situation when the statement "Nice move" would be an example of
verbal irony.
2. In the short story "The Gift of the Magi," a wife cuts off her hair and sells it to buy
a watch chain for her husband. At the same time the husband sells his watch to buy jeweled combs for his wife's hair. Why is this an example of situational irony?
3. On the back of this paper, write a paragraph that conveys either verbal irony or
situational irony. Have a friend read your paragraph to determine which type of irony you have created.

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Identifying Irony
Directions: Read the following examples of irony. Determine which of the three types of irony are being used and then explain your answer.
Dramatic irony – This occurs when the reader or audience understands more about the events of a story than a character Situational irony – This occurs when what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate Verbal irony – A character says one thing but really means the opposite
1. A mean old man ate a large meal at a restaurant. The waitress tried to provide him with excellent service, but every time she brought him a dish, he complained. First he thought that the soup was too cold when it was hot. Then he said that his steak was dry and chewy, when it was moist and succulent Then he complained that one of her blonde hairs was in his mashed potatoes, but the hair was actually grey like his own. She remained patient and continued to try to help him until the end of the meal, when he left her a quarter for a tip. She replied on his way out. ��Thank you for the generous tip. Mister.��
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
2. Tom has always liked Lucy, but Lucy has always thought Tom was annoying and unattractive. One day. Lucy comes home to find an eviction notice on her door. Apparently, her roommate had been spending the rent money that Lucy was giving her on other things. Lucy only has 24 hours to get all her stuff over to her mom's house, and Lucy doesn't even have a car. But Tom has a truck. So Lucy calls up Tom and asks him how he's doing. She tells him that she's always thought he was funny, and that they should hang out sometime. Tom thinks that Lucy has finally come around is beginning to like her. He also thinks that his jokes are funny because she is laughing after everything that he says.
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
3. The rapper Eminem is well-known for his song writing ability, but he is equally known for his shockingly profane and obscene lyrical content. Eminem has made a fortune selling his curse filled songs to millions of children around the world. But, on a 60 Minutes interview. Eminem claimed that there was no swearing in his own home and that his children were not allowed to play music with curse words, including his own tracks.
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
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4. When Lawrence saw the posters for the circus hanging on the bulletin board, as he swept up the trimmings at Slim's Barbershop. he knew he would be taking his little cousins. They loved animals, and he was looking forward to seeing the smiles on their faces as the circus performers amazed them with their stunts. But sweeping up hair clippings didn't pay a whole lot. Lawrence spent 45 dollars just getting tickets But it was worth it to see his cousins' faces. The day finally came and everyone was excited as they walked into that big circus tent. But Lawrence soon realized that he and his cousins would be thirsty and hungry. As they sat in their seats, the drink vendor walked by selling beverages. Desperately thirsty. Lawrence asked him how much a lemonade would cost, and the drink vendor said, "Eleven dollars each. Lawrence replied. ��Oh, that's it? Just eleven dollars? What a great deal for one cup of lemonade. That's totally worth it." The drink vendor walked away.
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
5. Mr. Reinhart is the building inspector for the entire county. Anytime a person wants to add a permanent structure to their home or property, such as a deck or balcony, the building plans need to be approved by Mr. Reinhart before construction can begin. Mr. Reinhart checks to see that each plan is safe before construction begins. Once building begins, he checks to see that construction is going according to the plan. In a way, he is responsible for ensuring that every structure in the county is built properly. One day Mr. Reinhart was having a party at his house. He and his three guests were barbequing on the porch attached to his house, when the structure suddenly collapsed. Apparently. termites got into the wood and had been chewing away the support beams for several months
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
6. Mr. Bath is the president of Make-A-Bath Industries, a small company that employs fifteen workers. including Tom Miller, father of six. Ever since the economy went down the tubes. Make-A-Bath hasn't been selling bath tubs like they once did, and now Mr. Bath has to fire three workers, one of whom will be Tom Miller. But Mr. Bath has never fired anyone before, so he has been delaying giving Tom and the other employees the bad news. But Christmas is approaching. Tom wants to buy nice gifts for his six children, but he doesn't have any money. So Tom charges a whole bunch of nice gifts on his credit card, figuring that he can pay it back with money from his checks that he will be getting from his job all year. Tom and his family don't have a lot of extra money to spend, so he likes to get his kids nice Christmas presents. Tom is looking forward to one of the best Christmases ever.
Which type of irony is used?
Explain your answer:
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1. Breaking and Entering
Jimmy the Lock was a master safecracker. He could bust open any safe in the world in under an hour using a crow bar, stethoscope, drill, and sledgehammer. No lock could hold Jimmy and that's why they called him "the Lock." Jimmy was scheduled to do a six-year stretch in Statesville for a bank job that got messy in suburbs, but he checked himself out before they could slam the cell door shut. Now Jimmy was set up to get the score of his life. He had the blueprints all laid out to do a job on an armored car diamond delivery. Gathering up all of his tools and gear, Jimmy headed out the door to meet his contact, Bobby the Rat, but when he got to his car, he couldn't find his keys. He patted down his pockets before he realized that he must have left them in his other thieving-pants. Jimmy went back to get his keys, but the door wouldn't open. Jimmy the Lock had locked himself out of his house.
2. Grand Theft Auto
Jack was on his way home from work when his wife Jill called him. He was in a hurry to get home and watch his favorite show, COPS, but Jill said that he needed to stop at the Hannaford's to get some bread for dinner. Jack replied dutifully to his wife, ��Yes, Dear.�� When he got to the Hannaford's, Jack was in such a hurry that he didn't even pull into a parking spot. He just pulled up right next to the door. It was 6:58, and COPS was starting in two minutes, so Jack just left his car running and ran into the store. He grabbed the bread from the middle aisle and got in the line behind a skinny guy wearing a leather jacket. Jack tapped his foot impatiently as the man purchased lottery tickets. Finally, the clerk rang up Jack right as Jack's watch read 6:59. Jack hurriedly completed the transaction and ran outside. As he went to jump into his car, he noticed that it was gone. He looked around a bit, but it was no where in sight. "Great," Jack sighed. His watch read 7:01. "How wonderful," he said to himself, as he reached in his pocket to call his wife.
3. Embezzlement
Suzy works in a big sky scrapper downtown. She is the secretary for the regional manager of operations at Bork and Mork's Corks and Forks. As the secretary, she was entrusted with a large supply of loose cash called a slush fund. The slush fund started at around five thousand dollars, but Suzy has been dipping her hands into the slush fund. It first started when she forgot her wallet at home. She was really hungry, so she grabbed a few bucks out of the slush fund for lunch and told herself that she would pay it back tomorrow. When tomorrow came, she didn't pay it back. The next day she decided that she needed to go grocery shopping after work, but she didn't get paid until next week and she was out of money. So Suzy grabbed her grocery money out of the slush fund. Again she told herself that she would pay it back, and again she did not. This pattern went on for another week or two, and Suzy bought herself all kinds of fancy goods and services. With her freshly manicured nails, Suzy opened the slush found box and found that it was empty. She began to panic, but was eventually able to block it out of her mind. That afternoon Suzy's boss, Mr. Meister, called Suzy into his office. "Suzy," he said sternly.
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��As you may know, my birthday is next Friday. I want you to throw me the biggest party this office has ever seen." Suzy gulped as Mr. Meister went on, "I want a shake machine, a clown, seven swans a swimming, the whole shebang! I want a nacho cheese fountain with at least four types of cheeses. Spare no expense. Drain every penny from the slush fund." Suzy noticed the look of childlike joy and excitement in his eyes as he imagined the extravagant party that would never happen, and Suzy shuddered to think of what tomorrow would bring.
4. Larceny and Destruction of Property
Jose and his little brother Angel were always getting picked on by the older boys in his neighborhood. After Angel had his lunch money stolen from him on his way home from school, Jose decided that his family had been the victims of criminals for the last time. Jose would join the Cobras, a gang that worked on his block. Jose thought that he and his brother would have the protection that they needed to get to and from school without being harassed if Jose were a Cobra. So Jose talked to Ice, the leader of the Cobras. Ice said that they might have a spot for Jose, but he would have to pass an initiation: Jose would have to steal a bicycle. Jose told Ice, "I'll have to think about it," but Ice responded, "Cobra's don't think about doing what they're told. If you want in, you'll go steal that bike right over there at the minimart." Jose didn't want to steal. He knew it was wrong, but he thought that the only person who could give them protection was Ice. So Jose ran up to the bike. Jose hardly paid attention to anything around him. His heart was beating so fast and he was so nervous, everything was a blur. He grabbed the bike and rode it back to Ice. Ice was pleased and said, "Great. Roll the bike off the top of that abandoned building and we'll think about making you a Cobra." Jose didn't want to destroy the property, but he was sick of his brother getting picked on and being the victim of crime, so he would do it for him. Jose rolled the bike up the seven flights of stairs to the building rooftop. His heart was beating like a drum machine. Jose closed his eyes and pushed the bike off the building. He heard the sound of it smashing to pieces and then he heard Ice and his gang chuckling. When he went back to Ice, Ice told him that he had hesitated too much and that Cobra's don't hesitate, so Jose couldn't get in the gang. Jose couldn't believe he did all of that for nothing, but he was kind of relieved that he was leaving the gang life behind him. He went home to find his little brother crying. "What's wrong, Angel?" Jose asked concernedly. Angel replied in between sobs, "My... my... bike. Somebody stole my bike."
5. Vandalism
Though the police considered him a criminal, and property owners considered him a menace, Noodles considered himself an artist. Noodles would paint huge murals and spray can artwork on everything he could reach, water towers, billboards, shop windows, overpasses, anything he could reach. One day, Noodles spray painted his name in big block letters over the window of the local grocery store. When the store owner arrived the next day, he was heard to utter, "Oh! Thank you. How nice of you, Noodles, to spray paint your name over my store window like that. I really appreciate it." He never got to thank Noodles personally, though he often wished that he had.
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Breaking and Entering
Grand Theft
Larceny and Destruction of
What type of irony is used in the passage?
Make your case (explain your answer):
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