April 11, 2013

The Jack & Jill of Juxtaposition = J: Blogging from A to Z

And then there were 16. 

Welcome to Day J of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Continuing with my theme of literary devices, today we are talking about juxtaposition. 

Juxtaposition refers to the use of dissimilar terms, concepts, or images in order to contrast their varying (or opposite) attributes. This may be used for ironic effect, to create surprise or humor, or to stimulate the imagination.

Juxtaposition is often used for comparison and contrast, rhetorical effect, suspense, and character development. For characters, it's often the yen and yang of personalities.

For example:

Consider The Prince and the Pauper. The author took two young men from very different worlds, who happened to look just alike, and had them change positions--a prince to a pauper and vice versa. By placing each of them in the other's life, the author was able to compare and contrast how they saw the world. Through this literary device, the reader was privy to a deeper understanding of both characters.

For moms of girls, a newer example would be Barbie's The Princess and the Pauper. *winks*

Another example is the picture featured above. The advertisement for God right along an ad to "Stop Sleeping Around." In Kentucky, where I went to college, you could often find billboard ads for strip clubs near ads for a church or Right to Life billboard. Even though I've seen such a scenario many times, it always gives me pause.

By placing two seemingly different items together, it not only points out their differences but strengthens what each stands for--good or bad.

What's your favorite example of juxtaposition?

As a mom, I see my daughters as a day-to-day example of juxtaposition. They are each a combination of the same two parents' DNA, and they are being brought up with similar values and financial security, yet they are all so different. Their personalities glow, mainly as compared to each other.

And, as the title of this post implies, the nursery rhyme Jack & Jill shows how each handles going down the hill.

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.


Miranda Hardy said...

That's such an awesome word to say, yet so few know the meaning.

Kate said...

I didn't start fully appreciating juxtaposition until studying art in college. Finally the true beauty of playing with opposing forms really hit home. In writing, it seems that it often comes naturally to a story, but I'd like to try to be more aware of it.

Jemima Pett said...

Well done - great examples!
Happy A to Z-ing
Jemima at Jemima's blog

Laura S. said...

Hello, Tia! This is a great word for J day. You're right that siblings are quite the juxtaposition.

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Julie Jordan Scott said...

I love throwing words like "juxtaposition" around. They are so much fun! Last Fall when the local college was opening they had a billboard that said, "Start Your Future Now!" right next to a Budweiser billboard that said, "Here We Go!" with a big can of beer next to it.

Made me laugh and we will ALWAYS remember this one!

Maybe the love of juxtaposition brought rise to the Steam Punk phenomenon?

Happy A to Z-ing!
Julie Jordan Scott
Our Literary Grannies from A to Z:I is for Judith Sargent Murray
tweet me - @juliejordanscot

Tia Bach said...

I love juxtaposition, and I literally squealed when I pulled the idea of Jack & Jill out of my head for Js and juxtaposition.

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting!

Jo Michaels said...

My favorite literary juxtaposition is Twilight. I wrote a whole paper about it in college. Clumsy girl meets elegant, suave guy. Woohoo :) WRITE ON!