A paradox is a statement that appears at first to be contradictory, but upon reflection then makes sense. This literary device is commonly used to engage a reader to discover an underlying logic in a seemingly self-contradictory statement or phrase. As a result, paradox allows readers to understand concepts in a different and even non-traditional way. However, this paradox makes sense upon reflection.
It illuminates the idea that young people may not have the perspective of older people as far as what is truly important or valuable. Youth, in this case, implies a vibrancy and energy that can be put towards those very actions that are important and valuable, yet young people may not recognize what they are.
There are many common examples of paradox in everyday conversation and writing. Here are some well-known and familiar uses of this literary device:. Examples are often portrayed in movies as well, through dialogue or situations. Here are some examples of paradox in movies:.
Examples of Paradox
Paradox is also found in many examples of poetry, prosedramalyrics, and clever quotations. Here are some famous examples of paradox:.
Many people confuse paradox and oxymoron as literary devices or find them interchangeable. Both of these terms reflect apparent contradictions when it comes to ideas and phrasing.
However, a paradox involves a larger scope than an oxymoron. Paradox is a statement or group of statements that seems to be self-contradictory as to what is logical, yet delivers the message of an inherent plausibility, truth, or meaning. An oxymoron, however, is a combination and juxtaposition of two words that contradict each other, but serve as a sound or logical figure of speech.
Whereas oxymoron is a contradiction in terms, paradox is made up of contradictory phrases or sentences. However, both oxymoron and paradox can achieve similar effects as a means of manipulating language through opposing words and ideas to create deeper meaning.
As a literary device, paradox functions as a means of setting up a situation, idea, or concept that appears on the surface to be contradictory or impossible. However, with further thought, understanding, or reflection, the conflict is resolved due to the discovery of an underlying level of reason or logic.
This is effective in that a paradox creates interest and a need for resolution on the part of the reader for understanding. This allows the reader to invest in a literary work as a means of deciphering the meaning of the paradox. Paradox is dependent upon two elements: 1 a statement or situation which initially appears contradictory; 2 the statement or situation that appears contradictory must, after consideration, be a logical or well-founded premise.
Here are some ways that writers benefit from incorporating metaphor into their work:. Paradox is an excellent literary device as a means of setting up conflict in a work of literature. A paradoxical situation or idea in a literary work creates tension and potential suspense for the reader.
For example, a literary character may find themselves in a situation where they must go against law and order as a means of preserving law and order. This type of paradox generates interest for the reader in terms of anticipating the resolution of the conflict.
Paradox is a way for writers to create verbal or situational irony. In a broad sense, irony itself is a literary device in which what appears to be said, expected, or taking place on the surface of a literary work is very different from what is actually the case. Paradox often creates irony in literature, which can deepen the meaning for the reader through humor or a sense of realism due to the complexity and often contradictory ways in which humans behave.
Paradox is an effective literary device as a means of creating interest in a literary work and engendering thought on the part of the reader. Here are some examples of paradox and how it adds to the significance of well-known literary works:.
Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask ; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch and let out a respectful whistle. In his novelHeller creates perhaps the most circuitous and dramatic paradox in literature.The ancient Greeks were well aware that a paradox can take us outside our usual way of thinking.
They combined the prefix para- "beyond" or "outside of" with the verb dokein "to think"forming paradoxosan adjective meaning "contrary to expectation. Examples of paradox in a Sentence For the actors, the goal was a paradox : real emotion, produced on cue.
It was hard to see what he meant for instance by speaking of his provincial side—which was exactly the side she would have taken him most to lack. Was it a harmless paradoxintended to puzzle her? Guppy propounds for Mr. Smallweed's consideration the paradox that the more you drink the thirstier you are and reclines his head upon the window-sill in a state of hopeless languor. As an actor, he's a paradox —he loves being in the public eye but also deeply values and protects his privacy.
Send us feedback. Accessed 11 Oct. Keep scrolling for more More Definitions for paradox paradox. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Test Your Vocabulary Forms of Government Quiz A gerontocracy is rule by: elders unwritten laws soothsayers animals Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Convening on 'Counsel' and 'Council' We drop the gavel. Ask the Editors 'Intensive purposes': An Eggcorn We're intent on clearing it up 'Nip it in the butt': An Eggcorn We're gonna stop you right there Literally How to use a word that literally drives some pe Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
Or something like that. A challenging quiz of changing words. Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Do you know the person or title these quotes desc Login or Register. Save Word. Definition of paradox. Synonyms Did You Know? Example Sentences Learn More about paradox. Keep scrolling for more. Synonyms for paradox Synonyms contradictiondichotomyincongruity Visit the Thesaurus for More. Did You Know? Recent Examples on the Web Time travel is deterministic and locally free, a new paper says—resolving an age-old paradox.
First Known Use of paradoxin the meaning defined at sense 1. Learn More about paradox. Time Traveler for paradox The first known use of paradox was in See more words from the same year. Listen to Our Podcast about paradox. Get Word of the Day delivered to your inbox! Sign Up. From the Editors at Merriam-Webster.
Dictionary Entries near paradox paradontal parador parados paradox paradoxal paradoxer paradoxial See More Nearby Entries. More Definitions for paradox.This type of statement can be described as paradoxical. A compressed paradox comprised of just a few words is called an oxymoron. This term comes from the Greek paradoxameaning "incredible, contrary to opinion or expectation.
According to the Encyclopedia of Rhetoricparadoxes are "mostly used for expressing astonishment or disbelief at something unusual or unexpected" in everyday communication Sloane A paradox can have positive or negative connotationscan be used in writing or speech, and can be used individually or within a set of paradoxes—these are flexible devices.
To get a better understanding of what a paradox is and how it may be used, read these quotes and examples. By definition, a catch is a paradoxical and difficult dilemma comprised of two or more contradictory circumstances, thus rendering the situation inescapable.
In his famed novel Catchauthor Joseph Heller expands on this. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to," Heller Many complicated but fundamental aspects of life could be deemed paradoxical before there was even a term for such a phenomenon—love is one of these.
The paradox consists of the fact that, when we fall in love, we are seeking to re-find all or some of the people to whom we were attached as children. On the other hand, we ask our beloved to correct all of the wrongs that these early parents or siblings inflicted upon us.
So that love contains in it the contradiction: the attempt to return to the past and the attempt to undo the past," Bergmann, Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Over the years, the meaning of paradox has somewhat changed. This excerpt from A Dictionary of Literary Terms tells how. By round about the middle of the 16th c. Some critical theory goes so far as to suggest that the language of poetry is the language of paradox," Cuddon As Kathy Eden points out, not only are paradoxes useful as literary devices, but also as rhetorical devices. Among the ways to accomplish this, Aristotle Rhetoric 2.
Paradoxes lend a certain surreal quality to writing, so writers with this vision in mind for their words are fond of the device. However, excessive use of paradoxes can make writing murky and confusing. If you look closely, though, you will see that much of the time he is saying something specific; namely, that everything is everything else.A paradox is a statement that may seem contradictory but can be true or at least make sense.
Paradox — Definition and Examples in Writing
This makes them stand out and play an important role in literature and everyday life. Beyond that, they can simply be entertaining brain teasers. Take the statement "Less is more. How can less be more? The concept is that something less complicated is often more appreciated. Let's talk a little bit more about this rhetorical device and enjoy a handful of examples of paradox. Ready to flex your mental muscles? Some of these statements may make you pause and think.
Here are some thought-provoking paradox examples:. A paradox can be thought-provoking but they're also fun to consider. Here are some paradoxes with a witty bent:. Let's continue to some larger examples of paradox that appear in works of literature. Examining their purpose will become an important part of the process. In George Orwell's Animal Farm"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" is one of the cardinal rules. Clearly this statement does not make logical sense.
However, the point of a paradox is to point out a truth, even if the statements contradict each other. Orwell is making a political statement here, but what? Perhaps it's that the government claims everyone is equal when, clearly, that's false.
Or, perhaps it's that individuals have skewed perceptions of what it means to be equal. The interpretation is up to the reader to decide. How can death die? Well, this is the beauty of the paradox. On the surface, this seems like a grim line. Quite the contrary, though. What Donne is really saying is that, upon death, heaven is imminent. And, in heaven, death shall die, because you are no longer at the mercy of your inevitable demise.
When you remove the morbid veneer, this is actually a statement of hope.To abandon this certainty can leave us with a skeptical paradox that is genuinely depressing. The position approaches to paradox and is not likely to be generally accepted. The paradox of science is that its success in understanding nature has created problems for its understanding of human nature. The paradox of individual freedom in an era of individual helplessness is a complicated issue.
He discovered the hydrostatic paradox that the downward pressure of a liquid is independent of the shape of the vessel, and depends only on its height and base. It suggests in a modern form the perpetual paradox of the Christian life: we are what we are to be. He was endowed with a strong sense of humour and a love of paradox carried to an extreme.
The paradox of predication, that it seems to deny identity, or to deny difference, becomes a pons asinorum. Aristotle had fallen into the paradox of resolving a mental act into verbal elements. To see the absurdity of the second paradox of relativity is easier than to refute it. But in the secular world this paradox failed to obtain; there free-will was only too ready to come into conflict with the Church. Herein lies the paradox which is also the deepest truth of our spiritual life.
But for a tendency to paradoxhis intellectual powers were of the highest order, and as a master of nervous idiomatic English he is second to Cobbett alone. The logic of the last quarter of the 19th century may be said to be animated by a spirit of inquiry, marred by a love of paradox and a corresponding hatred of tradition. It is indeed the doctrine of the intractability of matter to form that lies at the base of the paradox as to the disparateness of knowledge and the real already noted.
The remedy for the paradox is to recognize that the foundation for our belief in the existence of objects is the force which they exercise upon us and the resistance which they offer to our will. This kind of time travel creates a paradox that discourages time travel into the past.
His weakness as a writer is the too frequent striving after antithesis and paradox.
Hence came the curious paradoxthat the party which started as the advocates of the rights of parliament against the incapable ministers appointed by the crown, ended by challenging the right of parliament, exercised into depose a legitimate king and substitute for him another member of the royal house.
MacTaggart Studies in Hegelian Dialectic contends that direct contradiction is confined to the elementary portions of Hegel's Logic: but he does not deny its existence there, though his interpretation, could one accept it, softens the paradox.
The gathered illhumour of many years, aggravated by the confident assurance of the Hegelians, found vent at length in the introduction to his next book, where Hegel's works are described as three-quarters utter absurdity and one-quarter mere paradox - a specimen of the language in which during his subsequent career he used to advert to his three predecessors Fichte, Schelling, but above all Hegel.
Other words in the Mysterious & Unknown category:
The result of this theory of ethics is of great value as emphasizing the importance of a systematic view of conduct, but it fails to resolve satisfactorily the great Socratic paradox that evil is the result of ignorance. The cogency of Toland's arguments was weakened by his manifest love of paradox.
Warburton was undoubtedly a great man, but his intellect, marred by wilfulness and the passion for paradoxeffected no result in any degree adequate to its power.
In the first place, though in Aristotle's view the most perfect well-being consists in the exercise of man's " divinest part," pure speculative reason, he keeps far from the paradox of putting forward this and nothing else as human good; so far, indeed, that the greater part of his treatise is occupied with an exposition of the inferior good which is realized in practical life when the appetitive or impulsive semi-rational element of the soul operates under the due regulation of reason.
The Stoic doctrine of the worthlessness of ordinary human virtue, and the stern paradox that all offenders are equally, in so far as all are absolutely, guilty, find their counterparts in Christianity; but the latter maintaining this ideal severity in the moral standard, with an emotional consciousness of what is involved in it quite unlike that of the Stoic overcomes its practical exclusiveness through faith.Definition of Paradox.
Examples of Paradox in a sentence. In a strange paradox, the medicine made Heather sick before it made her better. The idea of being cruel to be kind is a paradox because cruelty is not normally associated with kindness.
By definition a paradox is two contrasting situations put together to create a provoking idea. The fact my aunt claims to hate children but has seven kids is an interesting paradox. While Jack loves to cook, he presents a paradox to the world by constantly making fun of male chefs on television. While a paradox may be true, it generally sounds as if it is false. The popular movie is based on a time travel paradox which allows the hero to go back in time and meet his parents before he is born.
Paradox in English Grammar
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