Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind Irony

Learning more from TV than school (situational irony)

Initially, Melody is excited to attend school and learn. However, her excitement wanes when she is kept in the special-needs class and never allowed to advance her education. As a result, Melody learns more from watching informative television shows that she learns at school. The situation is ironic because the general societal expectation is that television has a negative impact on children’s intelligence, while school is meant to make people smarter.

Claire claims Melody as a friend (situational irony)

While being interviewed by Channel Six News, Claire claims Melody is her close friend and that they eat lunch together. This moment is ironic, because Claire has been consistently horrible to Melody; Claire’s desire for attention leads her to lie on television, a moment that reveals her superficial nature.

Penny escapes the house while Melody and her mother are about to drive away (dramatic irony)

In the novel’s second climactic scene, Melody realizes that Penny has escaped the house. Melody attempts to alert her mother, but her mother remains oblivious. Since the reader knows more about the situation than Melody’s mother does, that knowledge produces a prolonged moment of dramatic irony.

Melody smashes the trophy (situational irony)

To assuage their guilt for having left Melody behind, her Whiz Kids teammates give Melody the small plastic trophy they received after coming in ninth place. Melody surprises everyone by laughing and then knocking the trophy to the floor, where it breaks. The situation is ironic because Melody’s classmates expected Melody’s desire to belong to the group would mean they could get away with such a half-hearted gesture of appeasement. Melody upends their expectations—and perhaps the reader’s—when she rejects the offer and maintains her self-respect.