Today’s topic is one of my favorites! I can’t even tell you how much I love talking about this. I know I sound like a complete nerd, but this is no sarcasm. Juxtaposition has an enormous impact on how we subliminally perceive characters. Defined as “ an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast,  the state of being close together or side by side,” (Dictionary.com) juxtaposition allows us to more deeply understand main characters and their situations. This is most accurately explained by example. Literarydevices.com provides some excellent instances of juxtaposition that we hear almost every day:
“All’s fair in love and war.”
“Better late than never.”
“Beggars can’t be choosers.”
“When it rains, it pours.”
“When the cat’s away the mice will play.”
Each of these phrases place two things that are completely different in nature and construction side by side to show contrast.
Juxtaposition vs. Foil
This may sound reminiscent of the foil characters we described in our previous character element, but a foil is a character created specifically to contrast with the main character. While juxtaposition sets up a contrast also, there is a difference between the two writing techniques. Simply put, foil refers to a characterization situation specifically while juxtaposition covers various types of contrast.
Examples of Juxtaposition in Literature and Film
Here is a list of both obvious and unobvious instances of juxtaposition found in well-known literary works.
Common Examples of Juxtaposition
Title Type Example
Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare Character
Beatrice – energetic, sharp-minded and cynical
Hero – quiet-tempered, respectful and calm
The Great Gatsby ...
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... very different and yet guides our understanding of the other. The juxtaposition of life is an amazing motivator to live authentically. Everyone has differences, but our lack of uniformity helps us further understand each other.
Author Steve Maraboli once said, “Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that is fake?”
That 's an absolutely wonderful quote. Perhaps the best thing I’ve read about truth is, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) I believe this refers to the truth of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest truth of all. You 're truly free when you know you 're truly secure, and that 's the best way to live authentically!
So stay true to who you are and be vigilant of life’s constant juxtapositions. They’re really quite interesting!
All the best,
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