What is an example of irony in the book Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The most painful instance of irony in Tears of a Tiger is that Robert Washington was the one to die in the reckless accident. In "Hit the Showers! Hit the Streets!: Locker-Room Conversation after the Game, November 7 9:30 P.M.," Andy jokingly compares himself to Robert. Robert replies in the same good-humored joking tone by saying the he was the best and would strike it rich playing in the N.B.A. (National Basketball Association):

You only wish you was as good as I am! I, Robert Orlando Washington, will be makin' billions of dollars playin' for the N.B.A.!

Irony in a situation (situational irony) is the occurrence of events that are contrary to what is expected. Robert tells us that what is expected is a bright and shinning career for himself in basketball. This expectation is not what occurred.

The irony reflected in this conversation is that, of all the four young men riding in Andy's car, it is Robert, the captain of the Hazelwood High Tigers basketball team, who gets caught and dies in the fiery inferno of the exploding blazing car, ignited not so much by the leaking gasoline as by the alcohol they drank.

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