What is the irony in the poem "Julia Miller" from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters?
The irony presented in this poem is situational irony. Situational irony is when something happens in a narrative that is very different or opposite from the expected outcome. In the poem "Julia Miller," the narrator chooses to marry a man 35 years her senior in order to provide a life for the baby she conceived with a man who has abandoned her. One would typically expect that she continues to live with this man she does not love, sacrificing her own happiness for her child's future. Instead, she becomes overwhelmed by her feelings for the man who betrayed her, and, after reading a letter he sent her, kills herself (and, obviously, the unborn child she was trying to provide for in the marriage that made her so miserable in the first place).