Situational Irony Examples
Irony is when something is said that is the opposite of what is meant or when something occurs that is the opposite of what is expected. There are three types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic.
Situational Irony occurs when actions or events have the opposite result from what is expected or what is intended.
1. Ralph wakes up late and thinks he is going to be late to school. After rushing around to get dressed, he realizes it is Saturday.
2. The fire station burns down while the firemen are out on a call.
3. Sara is trying to avoid a water gun fight that her brothers are having and she falls into a puddle.
4. A man who owns a lawn maintenance business cannot get grass to grow in his own backyard.
Examples of Situational Irony in Literature:
1. In "The Gift of the Magi," by O. Henry, the husband sells his watch to buy his wife combs for her hair and the wife sells her hair to buy her husband a chain for his watch.
2. In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge, the men are surrounded by an ocean of water, but they are dying of thirst ("Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.")
3. "The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin tells of a wife who learns that her husband is dead. She feels a sense of freedom as she thinks about a life without restriction. Then, he returns (he wasn't dead after all) and she dies of shock.
4. In "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant, a woman borrows what she thinks is a costly necklace from a friend and loses it. She and her husband sacrifice to replace it, only to learn years later that the necklace was a fake.