The Kill Order

The Kill Order Irony

Situational Irony: Thinking about not thinking

When Trina and Mark first ride the subtrans home, they banter about "thinking," just before the sun flares strike. This banter - these "thoughts" about "thoughts" - run throughout the entire book, reinforcing the book's considerations of sanity and insanity. However, their conversations about "thoughts" are humorous and ironic. Trina jokes that she is thinking about "absolutely nothing. That's what I'm going to do for two weeks. Not think. If I start to think, I'm going to think really hard about not thinking until I quit thinking" (41). This creates layers of complexity about thought, something that actually influences the characters throughout the story. Quite often, as Mark will learn, they will need to not think, and simply act.

Dramatic Irony: The nickname of the Flare virus

The nickname of the very infectious virus is the "Flare," a sad and ironic reference to the sun flares that brought about the virus' "necessity" (161). It is also ironic because everyone believes that the sun flares caused the infection, or at least it was brought out of its secure location due to the chaos of the sun flares. However, in reality it was caused by humans, and not the natural disasters themselves. Also, there was no real "necessity" for the Flare, or its subsequent nickname.

Dramatic Irony: Bruce's insanity

Bruce makes a speech to his other infected coworkers. They complain against their superiors at the Post-Flares Coalition. He basically calls them crazy, saying that they think they are gods. This is ironic because Bruce himself is now a crazy person. Additionally, the way he demands that a cure exist or be supplied for them gives him a god-like complex (187).

Dramatic Irony: Mark's headaches

An example of dramatic irony in the story involves Mark's headaches. As the story progresses, Mark often complains about a pain in his head. After witnessing other characters succumb to the Flare's effects beginning with a headache, readers will probably predict that Mark has the Flare, or eventually will. After all, he is surrounded by many potential infected people, places, and things. When Mark finally realizes that he, too, has the Flare (209), it is not so much an unexpected reveal as much as it is a moment of ironic understanding. Readers already know what is going on, but the characters do not.