Recall the example in the "Metaphors and Similes" section of would-be rabbit thieves who, when discovered, ran away like rabbits.
The thieves, who originally came to the neighborhood to steal the rabbits and likely eat them, found themselves turned into prey when the neighborhood watch comes upon them. The opportunistic predators find themselves fleeing like frightened animals - the very rabbits they came to steal.
The Corporate City (Dramatic Irony)
“Maybe Olivar is the future – one face of it. Cities controlled by companies are old hat in science fiction. My grandmother left a whole bookcase of old science fiction novels. The company-city subgenre always seemed to star a hero who outsmarted, overthrew, or escaped ‘the company.’ I’ve never seen one where the hero fought like hell to get taken in and underpaid by the company. In real life, that’s the way it will be” (pg. 124).
The people of Lauren's world are trying desperately to get into the very corporatocracy that most people traditionally try to escape. Author Octavia Butler skillfully plays with sci-fi transitions, ironically riffing on the trope of the corporate city that the hero tries to escape from.
Lauren's Plans (Dramatic Irony)
Lauren was correct to argue that the people of the neighborhood needed to institute more concrete plans to deal with an invasion of the neighborhood and its aftermath. If her plans to study edible plants in the California mountains had been followed, the survivors of the neighborhood would have had more things to eat. Ironically, her father thought her plans went too far, but, if they had been followed, his life and many others could have been saved.
Sharing Pain (Situational Irony)
Lauren's stepmother Cory tries to keep Lauren from falling victim to her hyperempathy too much, but Cory finds herself overcome with grief when she discovers the suicide of an elderly neighbor. Lauren ironically notes, "She jumps on me for sharing pain with the living, but she tries to share it with the dead" (pg. 15).
Parable of the Sower Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Parable of the Sower is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.