Jul 12, 2010

Dichotomy is Garlic Bread on Jelly

Think the roller coaster will make you sick?
Check out Matilda's lunch!
Today I was provided a clear example of dichotomy. It was not from literature. Clarity came via my daughter's lunch.

Took the kids to Movieworld on the Goldcoast. They had a great day, going on rides, seeing shows, and, I had a great day - sitting under a tree with a book. For lunch, I took them to the buffet restaurant. They love to fill their plates with foods of their choice. Matilda's desert was particularly interesting: Garlic bread and jelly.
You gonna eat that Matilda?
I thought this might be a good opportunity to repost about dichotomy as a writing device:

Dichotomy is a writing device popular in fiction (it is the process of grouping themes or characters into binary oppositional groups). In order for opposites to reveal as dichotomies they must belong to one of the two opposing groups and never cross over. These days most writers using a dichotomy will have it strong to begin with but then start to blur the boundaries, showing that themes are rarely 'black and white'. Some popular uses are to show the dichotomy of:
  • good and evil
  • rich and poor
  • human and alien
  • life and death
In Warracknabeal Kids I will have a protagonist (12yr. old boy) begin with assumptions of the dichotomy of right and wrong. These will be supported by his father's view that the law decides and by the church's view that the soul decides. As the narrative progresses the boy will see the conflicts of defining right and wrong by actions, outcomes or intentions. The purpose of this is to support my novel's premise: Sometimes it takes a wrong action to make things right.

And, how did the garlic bread on jelly go down?


  1. Eww. What a crazy combination. But, live a little!

  2. Yikes! Kids have the most interesting tastes! :)

  3. Well sometimes two opposite foods do taste good together. I like a chocolate bar with saltine crackers - sweet and salty. Besides, never know until you try it. LOL

    Thoughts in Progress

  4. Life proving reality is stranger than fiction once again. What a great thing to weave into one of your stories at some point.

  5. What a great real life example!

  6. Hmmm.... I won't knock it until I've tried it, but definitely an interesting combination! :D

  7. My son used to love to eat grapes with ketchup. Ugh! It still makes me cringe to think of it! :-)

    Great post, Charmaine.

  8. Children tend to blur all the boundaries! I can relate... Great way to share this info~
    Yes, it is a sickening combo...hope she is okay~

  9. Is it wrong that I now have a craving for garlic bread and jelly?

  10. lol That IS an interesting combination. :-) Definitely a good opportunity to share the writing tip, though. Thank you for that!

    And thank you for dropping by my blog and linking up for Writers' Follow Friday. I hope you'll drop by again this week.

    Now among your newest followers. Added your button to my blog... At some point or another, I really need to get mine made. lol Somewhere in all my "spare" time. lol ;-)

  11. teehee--I love that your daughter seemed content, even AFTER eating it... I like some odd combos--peanut butter and dill pickles is the one that raises the most eyebrows.

    I really like stories that challenge those assumptions--I do a fair amount of conspiracy stuff and I ALWAYS try to include a person or two on the 'bad side' who got sucked in for what they thought were legitimate reasons. Love to play with people's faulty perceptions, and 'good and evil' is one of the places those so often apply.

  12. Mary, Jemi, Mason - She seemed to enjoy it, but I wasn't game to try. I was a bit worried how she'd go on the roller coaster afterwards!

    M Pax, Holly - Kids often make complicated theories simple :-)

    Shannon - eek, grapes and sauce! Matilda smothers everything in 'marty-sauce', but fruit is generally on her banned foods list - I'd be happy if she'd eat grapes, even with sauce!

    Ellie - I know! I used to like to dip my fries in my thickshake when I was a kid.

    Lynda - Yes, yes it is wrong that you now crave bread and jelly - seek help ;-j

    Dawna - no probs, hope the follow friday grows, it's a great idea! I'll be happy to host your new button when you've done it.

    Hart - You've made a good point. I like to emphasise a story premise by having characters support it and oppose it.