The Island

The Island Irony

Winston Agrees to Perform Antigone (Situational Irony)

Early in the play, Winston does not want to play Antigone, as it suddenly dawns on him that the other prisoners will mock him for playing a woman. Then, when John gets news that he has won his appeal and will be leaving prison soon, a rift opens up between the men. Still, in spite of these obstacles, Winston eventually agrees to perform in the play, and puts in a committed performance as Antigone.

John's Good News (Situational Irony)

John gets news that his appeal has been granted. His ten-year sentence is reduced to three, which means he will soon get to leave prison. That means that Winston will be left alone. The irony is that it is especially good news for one and especially frustrating news for the other, putting Winston in the strange emotional place of trying to be happy for John, but secretly despising the news. He almost wishes John were forced to suffer with him, but that isn't a very brotherly attitude, so he struggles to accept the change.