Juxtaposition

I just walked past a young couple who were hugging. The girl looked pretty sad. They were standing next to an ATM, so I thought that they must be having money problems, and I really felt for them.

But then I started thinking that if they weren’t standing next to an ATM I wouldn’t have thought that at all. And, in fact, the hug could have been about anything, and maybe she wasn’t even sad at all. I thought this was a very good example juxtaposition, though, how placing things next to each other determines our reaction to them.

I moved this little scene around in my head and thought about what my assumptions of the situation would have been if the couple were standing outside:

* A doctor’s surgery

* A nightclub

* A phone box

* A nursing home

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