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GP Literary Question: Paradox

GP Comprehension Tuition: Paradox

A statement which appears at first glance, ridiculous or self-contradictory, yet which on examination, reveals an unexpected, valid meaning

The clash or where it seems self-contradictory must be captured in a similar manner to capturing irony.
First, the obvious is to be stated or explained. Next, the clash must be captured.


Examples for Practice

a. ‘Part of the meaning of life is to have highs and lows. A life that was constantly happy was not a good life’ (lines 30-31). Explain why the underlined is a paradox. [2m]

Answer: What a ‘good life’ entails needs to be explained. Then, the clash must be captured.
Eg: We aim / wish / expect for maximum / optimum happiness in our lives all the time. Yet, a good life is one that has ups and downs, not just ups

OR adequate / comparable negative experiences, not just positive experiences.

Yet, it is not just happiness that is ‘good’ but the ‘bad’ (of lows) is also seen to be ‘good’.
The point here is to question the value of ‘constant’ as a ‘good thing.


Application: What is the Paradox Of Thrift?

According to economic theory, the paradox of thrift, or paradox of savings, suggests that increases in personal savings are likely to worsen the economy during a recession. In a recession, times are bad and consumers tend to save more, rather spend more. This may actually lower the level of economic activity, and thus worsen the recession. This paradox was popularized by British economist John Maynard Keynes.


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