Category Archives: antithesis

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).


Life’s polarities are the sources of our most significant vexations. Our anxieties and our hopes reside at opposite ends of all spectrums. Life is thwarting death. Death is thwarting life. Hope is thwarting fear. Fear is thwarting hope. We are like light switches flipping On and Off. But little Hammy had his wheel— a treadwheel with infinite shades of ‘going’ between starting and stopping, stillness and motion. But Hammy has stopped forever. No more running through his pet pipe plastic tube or rolling in his cedar shavings and grunting, or, seeming to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I tried teaching Hammy to Moon Walk, but he peed on my hand, squirmed loose and hid behind his water bottle. However, one morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. to water the lawn. When I walked past Hammy’s room he was moon walking in his cage—with no music! I was mad and glad at the same time. I opened the cage door to pick him up and pet him and give him a hamster treat, but he jumped out of the door and disappeared. That night, I heard scratching behind the wall, over my bed behind the Crucifix my grandma hung there when I was bedridden with measles. How could I rescue him? I would make a hole in the wall behind the Crucifix, dangle a hamster treat down the hole on a piece of string and catch him like a fish. The Crucifix would hide the hole, and all would be well. I got the electric drill from the garage and attached the two-inch bit with saw teeth I used to install a door knob for my dad. I cranked up the drill and pushed it into the wall. I pulled the drill out of the wall, and there was Hammy stuck on the drill bit, spinning around and around, and twitching. It was like he was trapped on the Grim Reaper’s hamster wheel.

Even though I killed him, he was a good friend. The sun rises and the sun sets. Hammy’s sun has set. He will be buried in a zip lock bag with holes punched in it so the gases from his decaying body will easily escape and he will rest in peace. I guess I should cancel my lifetime subscription to Hamster Aficionado and shut down my internet feed to Hamsters in the News. I’m leaving the hole in the wall as a memorial to Hammy’s short life and his hamster grit and determination to be a special hamster—to moonwalk along the starry vaults of heaven to “slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

There are paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope available on Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).


Open and closed—doors, windows, safes, wounds. What is opened will not always eventually be closed, no matter how desperately we may desire it to be. We know this. We live this. We may fear this in the anguish of not being able to close what is open, or open what is closed. A door with a broken lock. A window painted shut. A safe that won’t unlock. These things can eventually be repaired DYI, or by a tradesperson. But wounds aren’t as straightforward. Doctors may do their best to heal festering cuts and swollen scrapes, but there is also chronic illness—it must be managed, it can’t be cured. And, of course, not all disease or wounding is physical. For example, a battered and broken heart, torn and twisted by love’s travails.

Nobody knows how to heal a broken heart: when hope contracts, despair expands. The passage of time may make it sort of well, or it may make it worse. Finding a new lover may make life better. The person may be like a medicated bandaid stuck across your heart. They may soothe. They may dull the pain. They may even heal almost all of your heart’s despair.

It is your memory that thwarts complete healing: The person you ran from visits your dreams. The “good times” filter through your consciousness. The dinners. The TV time. The sex. The vacations. The good memories start to eclipse the bad memories—being bossed around, being belittled, being marginalized. In dreams, day and night—bereft of the ordeals—your life together is sanitized, romanticized, idealized, and yet, there is still the pain. The pain may be indelible—a reminder of where not to go, and how not to get there. With your new lover, though, the pain may be dimishing, but it will never completely go away. Let it be a source of wisdom. Let it lecture your soul.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

There are paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope available on Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).


We tell falsehoods. We tell truths. True and false, like right and wrong, set the boundaries of our being—of who are, who we were and who we will become.

We sit here on this beautiful spring day—in the cool breeze, under the spell of clouds, the blue sky, and the scent of flowers as we grope like moles driven from their burrows by a hard unrelenting rain. We grope for stability—the stability truth affords. But we also grope for the openness of change and thrill of the unknowable where imagination, fiction, and falsehood have free play.

But somewhere between what’s true, what’s imagined, and what’s false is what we believe—what seems probable and seems plausible: the site of opinion: of faith, charity, chances, and wagers.

For example, the neat oppositions between true and false, right and wrong, and all the binaries we consume in our endless search for the end of our search to know and to conquer, places our trust in the sexes’ extremes. Man vs. Woman. At the site of “versus” between the extremes there is a startling array of variations in the markers traditionally used to map biological sex. There is no perfect manifestation of the categories of Man and Woman.

Nevertheless, the drive for categorization is endless. It provides us with vexing anomalies: man, woman, other. It has political implications, surgical implications, and legal implications. I guess we need think in degrees, where the different degrees are not hierarchically arrayed, and the extremes never achieve 100%.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

There are paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope available on Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We praise. You blame. We see goodness. You see evil. We live in a world of hope and happiness. You live in a world of fear and anguish.

There is an abyss that divides us. It is because we have chosen to live at the extremes. It is time realize that there is good AND evil in this world. It is time to revel in what’s right and repair what’s wrong–together.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

I look up and you look down. I look down and you look up.

In our antithetical gazes do we contradict each other or do we compliment each other? And what’s between us? What’s between your up and my down, my up and your down?

What’s between us is us.

There is no other place for us to be: we are created between the oppositions and may recognize and work out our juxtaposed differences there–where, perhaps, up and down set the limits of our individual and unique identities, and in the in-between-space, the differences are a platform that we jump from into the fields of us–we lose me and you. We take mutual responsibility for what we do in between the opposites, what we make here is us.

Blame evaporates in our shared space, where together we constitute our quality of life on the foundation of us: not you, not me, but US.

Who is to blame? We are to blame.

Who should be praised? We should be praised.

Who should be pitied? Maybe you and me, but not us!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

The happy people and the sad people–opposite emotions, but not opposed as far as they are people. They can influence each other from where they stand. With empathy they may understand each other, and with understanding they build a bridge between happiness and sadness, that is itself neither happy nor sad. It is simply a place to meet and be together and consider each other as “us,” or “we,” or “friends,” or  . . . ?

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

 

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

My opinion is neither true nor false, neither is yours.  Some opinions differ. Some opinions don’t.

Opinions may be judged as better or worse, negative or positive, ill-founded or well-grounded, but never true or false.

That’s the truth.

It’s election day in the USA and one thing is for certain, one’s vote is one of the most powerful ways to express one’s opinion.

That’s my opinion.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We say hope. They say fear. Hoping and fearing, we are, in fact, making a fractured future.  We need to find a way between the extremes–we need to rebalance our hopes and fears and retake the public spheres where there’s a turn for everybody in freedom’s conversation.

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

Antithesis

Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

We should fear life as much as we fear death; for life is death’s portal!

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Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)