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Verbal irony plays out in Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt starting with its title and recurs throughout the book in the phrase that Henry’s father repeats, “If you build your house far away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you.” In spite, of the family living in an old, isolated house in a small town on the coast of Maine, trouble managed to find them. The irony is that no matter how you try to insulate your life from difficult times and unfortunate occurrences, they will find you because no one’s life is perfect, or without pain and loss. In Henry’s case, he seems to live a charmed life in an affluent family, going to famous prep schools. But, when his brother is hit by a car driven by a classmate while out running in the quiet New England town and taken to a large city hospital where he dies, Henry realizes he is sitting right in the middle of trouble. Again, trouble finds Henry as he attempts to honor his brother’s last wish. Trouble transcends time and place.
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