Although Charlie places second in the egg race to be Squizzy Taylor's new employee, he wins on a technicality, as Barlow's egg is broken while Charlie's remains intact. In an instance of situational irony, Squizzy admits to Charlie that he knew Charlie would win because he boiled Charlie's egg that morning. Without his having done so, Charlie's egg would likely have broken as well.
Harriet Should Be Called Harry (Situational Irony)
Charlie's frustration with Harriet and her refusal to lay any eggs is explained when Norman visits and informs Charlie that Harriet should be called Harry. In this instance of situational irony, Charlie's and the reader's expectation is undermined by the revelation that Harriet is a male duck, and thus can never lay eggs.
Maybe if Yer Real Polite (Verbal Irony)
After Barlow chases Norman and Charlie off the football pitch, Charlie laments the loss of his football. Norman says, "Don’t worry, Charlie. I’ve a feelin’ we’ll be seein’ ‘im again. Maybe if yer real polite ‘e’ll give it back. Only remind me not to be stand’ next ta yer when ya ask." In this example of verbal irony, Norman's suggestion is not to be taken literally: based on Barlow's violent attitude, it is clear that asking for the ball back politely will not result in him giving it back.
Delivering Liquor to the Police Inspector (Situational Irony)
While delivering liquor for Squizzy, Charlie and Norman hide in the bushes when they see a cop approaching. Moments later, they meet the man they are delivering to, only to discover the man is a police inspector. In this instance of situational irony, Charlie and Norman and the reader are shocked by the revelation that there is no need to worry about the officer walking his patrol, because that officer answers to the command of the corrupt inspector.
Runner Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Runner is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Charlie's family lives in poverty. His father died of the Spanish flu, and his mother does the best she can on her own. Charlie's mother is a proud woman, and as a result of his father's death, Charlie has become the man of the family.