Figures of speech are literary devices which are used to convey ideas that go beyond their literal meaning.
In English, there are more than 200 different types of figures of speech. The Paradox is one of them.
A paradox is a statement or a general fact which may sound ridiculous or illogical, but on deeper analysis, it may make perfect sense. Due to the way that both paradox and oxymoron combine opposing ideas, they are comparable. But the former stands for a rule or a truth which is rooted in reality.
- When it comes to speaking, less is more. (The statement ‘less is more‘ sounds absurd. If one were to analyse it, it means brevity of speech can accomplish more than verbosity.)
- The child is the father of the man. (The statement sounds illogical if one were to interpret it literally. Figuratively, it means that childhood is an important stage where man imbibes qualities which will become synonymous with his personality in adulthood.)
Following are the popular examples of Paradox
“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”
—George Orwell, Animal Farm
“I can resist anything but temptation.”
“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.”
—Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
“The swiftest traveller is he that goes afoot.”
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“War is peace.”
“Freedom is slavery.”
“Ignorance is strength.”