What is an example of irony in the story Trouble?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Trouble is a story written by Gary Schmidt. The story is full of valuable life lessons, some of which involve irony. One example in the story leaves a particularly memorable impression on readers. Henry's father has attempted to insulate his family from troubles that may come their way in life, but trouble unfortunately has a way of finding the family when Henry's older brother, Franklin, gets hit by a car while he is jogging outside. Henry's memory of this horrible event seems contrary to his father's teaching that building your house far enough away from trouble will prevent trouble from finding you. Henry makes sense of this conflict and reconciles it by realizing that trouble is an unavoidable part of living in this world regardless of level of affluence or privilege.

One of the morals of the story is that living the good life is about, in part, learning how to deal with trouble so you become stronger as a result and make it a productive experience. Irony can be defined as an outcome of events that is contrary to what is or might have been expected. From Henry's viewpoint, he expected that his father's teaching was a truth in the universe that is always proven right, but he was caught by surprise. He did not expect the outcome of trouble finding his older brother. That irony was unfortunately a horrible experience for the family. But it was probably the most memorable example of irony in the story.

There are other less memorable examples of irony in the story. However, this example contains a major moral of the story. It is one that teaches us to deal with trouble in our lives in a productive way. It is not something that is necessarily taught in school, but it is a valuable life lesson.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team