Thirteen Reasons Why

Thirteen Reasons Why Irony

Marcus Vandalizing Tyler’s House (Situational Irony)

Clay follows Hannah’s directions in the tapes and goes to Tyler’s house, only to see Marcus outside of it. Whenever one of the baker’s dozen comes to Tyler’s house, Marcus has them throw a rock at Tyler’s window, to punish him for looking through Hannah’s window. Clay immediately sees the hypocrisy in Marcus’s behavior and points out the irony of the situation. They are all on Hannah’s list and thus bear blame for her death. They are the last people who should be passing judgment and punishing others for their actions again Hannah.

Clay and Hannah (Situational Irony)

At different points of the book, both Clay and Hannah lament the fact that they never got to know one another. During the first tape Clay thinks, “I hardly knew Hannah Baker. I mean, I wanted to. I wanted to know her more than I had the chance… But we never had the chance to get closer” (18). The tragic irony is that Clay finally gets to know Hannah intimately, but she is already dead.

Alex’s List (Situational Irony)

As Hannah points out in Alex’s tape, Alex probably thought he was doing Hannah a favor by including her on his “Who’s Hot/Who’s Not” list (59). After all, who doesn’t want their peers to view them as attractive? Unfortunately, Alex’s list is the catalyst for many of the horrible things Hannah endures later on. Alex is not on the tapes because of what he did, but because of the aftereffects of his list. Ironically, what Alex may have viewed as a compliment towards Hannah ends up being a reason she committed suicide.

Mr. Porter and Hannah’s Poem (Situational Irony)

When teaching Hannah’s anonymous poem in his English class, Mr. Porter likens it to a poem by a dead poet. Just as a dead writer cannot speak or answer questions about their work, so is an anonymous writer bound to silence in order to preserve their anonymity. According to Hannah, Mr. Porter made his provocative comparison in hopes of getting someone to “fess up to writing [the poem]” (298). Ironically and unfortunately, not only did Hannah not claim her poem, she ended up killing herself because of the callousness of Mr. Porter and her classmates.