Juxtaposition in a literary text occurs when the author deliberately "places" two contrasting things side by side in order to highlight the differences. Authors can juxtapose people, places, things, and ideas.
1. Two siblings in a story are opposites-one is always good and one is always evil.
2. One character lives on the good side of town, while another lives just across the railroad tracks on the bad side of town.
Examples of Juxtaposition in Literature
1. Shakespeare juxtaposes light and dark in Romeo and Juliet, which in a way juxtaposes the two young, innocent lovers and the darkness of their fate and their families' hate: "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear."
2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the stories of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are juxtaposed, as Scout learns about prejudice and hatred, and how it is not always tied to race.
3. In his short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allan Poe juxtaposes wine and the bones of dead people, as well as the revelry of carnival in the streets above and death in the catacombs below. This juxtaposition highlights the twisted nature of the story and how a man is lured to his death in the catacombs.