This chapter investigates those many different forms and layers of irony in Kazuo Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans (2000), arguing that Ishiguro’s use of ironic doubleness, which highlights the way in which Christopher Banks’s triumphs are haunted by disaster and humiliation, prevents any closed reading. The counterpointing of Banks’s successes and failures, and the text’s ironic contradictions, remains challenging to the end, offering a profound uncertainty about the limits of knowledge in the modern world.
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