This term refers to the act of suddenly becoming one's exact opposite
. It can happen to individual
s; for example, a meek
person buys a gun and goes on a killing spree, without warning. People often refer to this as "snap
ping." It can also happen to a society, when, at the height of culture and order, it topples and degenerates into anarchy.
*This of course is what prompted me to learn more about this word and create this writeup.
- The common sci-fi apocalypse: the Earth has reached such a technological height that we destroy ourselves, and the survivors are returned to something akin to the Dark Ages.
- The decline of Rome (and others). They became so "civilized" that they moved into hedonism.
- Freud vs. Jung - Freud was an introvert, but (some would say therefore) his approach to psychology was extroverted. Jung, on the other hand, was an extrovert, but he took an introverted approach to psychology.
- A complete reversal of character (Jekyll-Hyde). As the example above, or the opposite: A hardened criminal sees the error of his ways, and dedicates his life to fighting crime. Or something less extreme, like when an uptight prude gets a little drunk and goes completely wild.
- Best friends become worst enemies when something comes between them.
- In Roger Zelazny's The Dream Master, the main character is introducing his patient, a blind woman, to the visual world. He shows her a large number of animals and places, all beautiful things of nature. Then he forces her to view the unpleasant scars and stains man has left on the earth, the trash heaps and the strip mines. He refers to it as "enantiadromia," and says she must have balance, must see both sides.*