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Situational irony can be broadly defined as situations where the outcomes are incongruous to what is expected, or situations which involve contrasts and/or clear contradictions.
The first example of this is when, on his arrival, Mrs Lucynell Carter deems Tom T. Shiftlet as a tramp and "no one to be afraid of". Mr Shiftlet proves to be just the opposite later in the story when he steals their car and abandons the younger Lucynell in a diner. Tom's statement that:
"I'd give a fortune to live where I could see me a sun do that every evening".
is also deeply ironic, for he later deserts his wife and travels to Mobile in the stolen car.
A further example of situational irony would be the fact that Tom has only one fully usable arm. The expectation would be that this would hamper him in the performance of his tasks, but he expertly and efficiently completes a number of tasks around the plantation and the house, including repairing the Carter's broken car.
Tom also declares that he is looking for an honest woman, but after marrying Lucynell junior, who is wholly innocent and pure, he dumps her at a diner. He had the opportunity to start a new life with an untainted woman, but abandons that ideal
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