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Juxtaposition

The juxtaposition is a literary device in which two or more places, ideas, characters, and their deeds are compared side by side in a poem, play or novel for comparisons and contrasts.


Writers of literature use juxtaposition to portray deep traits of them in details for rhetorical effect and creation of suspense. The juxtaposition works well for readers to understand characters in a narrative as it is natural human behavior to compare things before making a decision.
Juxtaposition has been used for decades across all sections of the society, from politicians to writers. Notably, John .F. Kennedy loved to use juxtaposition in his speeches.


The literary device services to elicit response among the minds of the readers and serves to keep their minds fully engaged throughout the reading.


There are several examples of juxtaposition in literature. In John Milton’s narrative poem Paradise Lost, he uses juxtaposition throughout the narrative. Milton juxtaposes two characters in the book; God and Satan. The writer places the good qualities of God side by side to those evil deeds of Satan hence a reader can draw a contrast between the two characters. Through juxtaposition, the reader can conclude on to why Satan’s expulsion from the paradise was warranted.


William Shakespeare uses juxtaposition in his novel Romeo and Juliet to bring contrast between light and darkness. Romeo talks of how Juliet’s face glows at night like a jewel that glitters against dark African skin. Through contrast, the reader can relate how Juliet’s face looked according to Romeo.


Charles Dickens’ is another writer that was good in using juxtaposition in his novels. In his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, he uses juxtaposition in the opening sentence of his novel where he places best times side-by-side with worst time, the age of wisdom against the age of foolishness, everything before us against nothing before use…He uses it so well that the reader builds curiosity from the first sentence. The juxtapositions help the readers relate to factors that led to the French revolution.


He extends juxtaposition between the poor and rich to compare and contrast the discord in the then French society. The literary devices serve to prepare the reader to accept why the Revolution was necessary.
The writer uses juxtaposition literary definition as a way of surprising them and evoking their interest, by comparing two unequal elements and placing them side by side. The juxtaposition definition helps readers draw clear images and provides a connection between unlikely concepts in the narrative.

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