Oxymoron vs Juxtaposition:Comparative Analysis


This article provides you with a comparative analysis of oxymoron vs juxtaposition. 

Juxtaposition is a literary device that contrasts opposing ideas or objects together. Oxymorons are one type of juxtaposition that places a pair of conflicting or contradictory words together

Oxymoron vs Juxtaposition Relationship 

The table below demonstrates the oxymoron vs juxtaposition relationship: 

OxymoronJuxtaposition 
– Oxymorons are a special type of juxtaposition that contrast two words with each other. 

– These words have to be immediately beside each other. 
– Juxtaposition can be used to contrast abstract concepts or objects in close proximity to each other. These contradictory ideas do not need to be immediately beside each other. 

– You can find juxtaposition within a single sentence, but you can also find it in the overarching plot line of a story or essay—such as in between characters, settings, or any other plot elements. 
Effect: 
– Oxymorons often have the effect of engaging the reader by making them pause and think about what the writer is trying to say. 
 
– Putting contrasting words together can also accentuate the meaning of one of those words. 

– Oxymorons can often be an expression of wit or humour. 
Effect: 
– Like oxymorons (which are a type of juxtaposition), juxtapositions allow readers to be more active as they try to figure out what the writer is trying to say.  

– It can be used to suggest similarities or highlight the link between unrelated things. 

– Juxtapositions can be used to express humour or stress on the absurdity of something. 
Oxymoron vs juxtaposition
Oxymoron vs Juxtaposition

Oxymoron vs Juxtaposition Examples  

1. In Mumbai it is unusually common to see slums and skyscrapers side by side. 

In this sentence, “unusually common” is an oxymoron—as things that are “unusual” are usually not “common.” This oxymoron highlights the absurdity of what is being described. 

2. While Nandita was soft spoken and quiet, her sister was loud and aggressive. 

In this sentence, Nandita’s characteristics (“soft spoken and quiet”) are juxtaposed with her sister’s characteristics (“loud and aggressive”). The effect is to highlight how different the two are despite being sisters. 

3. Amay was always in awe of how incredibly stupid his brother could be. 

In this sentence, “incredibly stupid” is an oxymoron—because while “incredible” has a positive connotation, “stupid” has a negative connotation. Here, the effect of the oxymoron is exaggeration. 

Read more about What Is Oxymoron?

4. Hrithik looked at the clean, glistening room, and then he looked down at his own dirty, mud-streaked shoes. 

In this sentence, the cleanliness of the room is juxtaposed with the dirtiness of Hrithik’s shoes. 

5. My father is a bit of a man child—he constantly needs other people to look after him. 

In this sentence, “man child” is an oxymoron— because the word “man” contradicts the word “child.” 

6. During the race, Riya ran while looking ahead, while Yamini kept looking back to see who was behind her. 

In this sentence, two styles of competing are juxtaposed with each other: while Riya is focused on winning and is competing with herself, Yamini is distracted by the people she is competing against. 

7. For Mrinalini, attending her school graduation was a bittersweet event: she was proud of herself for having completed school, and yet she was sad to be leaving. 

In this sentence, “bittersweet” is an oxymoron because the words “bitter” and “sweet” have opposing meanings. 

8. As Rahul made himself a cup of tea, he had a sudden memory of hiding in the trenches in 1999.

In this sentence, the calming act of preparing tea is juxtaposed to a scary memory from Rahul’s life. In other words, peace is juxtaposed with violence. 

9. When Shekhar refused to jump into the lake, his sister told him to stop being a big baby. 

In this sentence, “big baby” is an oxymoron because babies are usually small—thus the words “big” and “baby” contradict each other. Here, the oxymoron is used as an expression of wit. 

10. Her grandmother’s hands looked so small and wrinkled next to Mehr’s smooth and long ones. 

In this example, the grandmother’s wrinkled hands are juxtaposed with Mehr’s youthful hands. 

11. It’s a known secret that the house at the end of the street is haunted. 

In this example, “known secret” is an oxymoron since secrets are by definition unknown. Therefore, the two words contradict each other. 

Read more about When Is A Noun Not A Noun

12. Towards the end of the race, the black horse suddenly crossed the white one to victory. 

In this example, the colour of the horses are juxtaposed with each other: one is “black” and the other is “white.” 

13. Shaheen was terribly excited to get a tattoo on her eighteenth birthday. 

In this sentence, “terribly excited” is an oxymoron because the word “terrible” is not often associated with excitement. 

14. Today I spotted a large golden retriever playing with a small chihuahua at the local dog park.  

In this sentence, the size of the golden retriever is juxtaposed with the size of the chihuahua. 

15. Her smile was full of malice when she saw me coming her way. 

 In this sentence, the word “smile” is juxtaposed with the word “malice.” Typically, we associate smiles with kindness—but here it is associated with “malice” or ill will.

In conclusion, remember that juxtaposition is a very broad term that represents ideas or objects being contrasted with each other. On the other hand, oxymorons are a specific type of juxtaposition in which the two words being juxtaposed are placed directly beside each other.

Recent Posts