Home » The Writer’s dictionary » What is Situational Irony? Definition, examples of Situational Irony in Literature

Definition of case irony? Situational irony is a form of irony whereby there is a discrepancy in between what is meant to take place versus what actually happens in a situation.

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What is Situational Irony?

Situational irony occurs as soon as the unexpected happens in the plot. Writer often collection up stories in a method where the reader has actually an expectation of those going come happen; however, once a twist occurs and the truth differs indigenous the expectation, this is well-known as situational irony.

Here room some instances of situational irony:

In Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and also Ham, the narrator continually refuses to eat the environment-friendly eggs and also ham due to the fact that he insurance claims that the doesn’t favor them. At the end of the children story, the tries the food and also because of the original claim, we assume he will certainly be disgusted. However, opposing occurs, and he loves this brand-new treat.

In O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, Della cuts off her hair to buy Jim a new fob chain for his prized possession, watch. When she gift this gift to him, we expect him to it is in overwhelmed through joy. Instead, Jim is shocked due to the fact that he has actually sold his pocket watch in order to buy her new combs for her long hair. Through these sacrifices, the personalities realize that the most essential thing is your love for one another.

Situational Irony vs. Dramatic and Verbal Irony

Situational irony is one of three species of irony: dramatic, verbal, and situational. All three resolve a discrepancy between appearance versus reality. However, verbal and dramatic irony different in the following ways:

Verbal irony is the discrepancy between what someone claims versus their intended meaning:

In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask that Amontillado,” the murderer, Montresor, frequently speaks using verbal irony as soon as talking to his victim, Fortunato. He claims that that “drink come lengthy life.” However, this is ironic due to the fact that he is intended on killing him in just a couple of moments.

Dramatic irony is wherein there is a discrepancy in between what the leader knows matches what the characters know in the story:

In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the readers understand that the narrator has just committed a murder and placed the dismembered body under the floorboards; however, the policeman questioning him room unaware of this information.

The function of Situational Irony

The function of case irony is to produce a surprised effect for the reader. Many times we enjoy reading stories whereby the unforeseen occurs. Many times we refer to this as a twist ending.

How Situational irony is provided in Literature

Here are some extr examples the situational irony:

In Neil Simon’s modern-day drama Lost in Yonkers, the main character, Eddie, must try to mend the broken relationship through his harsh mommy after his wife dies in order come secure a home for his young while he travels because that work. His younger, timid sister, Bella, sit quietly together the two seem to be unable to settle their differences. However, the situational irony occurs when the timid Bella stands as much as her domineering mother and also says the boys will be welcome in their home.

In william Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo declares that while he will go to the Capulet’s ball, he will certainly only attend to look at the same Rosaline who has actually denied his statements of love. The audience expects him come go and mope throughout this party; however, that is there the he automatically forgets around Rosaline and also falls in love with Juliet.


Define situational irony: In summation, situational irony occurs once what is meant in a situation differs indigenous what actually happens.

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Final example:

In Nicole Yoon’s Everything, Everything, the protagonist’s mother has diagnosed her with an allergy come the world. This has led come her mother refusing she daughter call with others outside of their home. Together restriction is challenged when the protagonist falls in love through the boy following door and desires to leave the home. After much research, the protagonist and reader find that the reality is she is no allergic come the world, however instead, she mother has actually concocted this diagnosis in order to save her daughter “safe.” This is situational irony due to the fact that we suppose mothers come tell the truth and protect their children; however, in this situation, her mommy was harming she child.