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(This might spoil some of the plot from Bridge of Spies, so Spoiler Warning!)


In Bridge of Spies, when the main character is on a train in Berlin, he sees people try to climb over the Berlin wall, but are shot down by patrols. At the conclusion of the story after he returns home, he is also on a train, and sees some children climb over a chain link fence, but they are not shot down.

What is the literary device to describe this change? The device seems significant because it shows a change by using two similar events that have different outcomes.

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The literary device you are referring to is contrast which is defined:

a rhetorical device through which writers identify differences between two subjects, places, persons, things or ideas. Simply, it is a type of opposition between two objects highlighted to emphasize their differences.

If you visit the linked site and Wikipedia article, you will see several examples. In the movie, repression (in East Germany) and freedom (in the U.S.) are contrasted with the two scenes.

[Literarydevice.net]

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I think about synchronicity 1. The state or fact of being synchronous or simultaneous; synchronism. 2. Coincidence of events that appear meaningfully related but do not seem to be causally connected, taken by Jungian psychoanalytic theory to be evidence of a connection between the mind and material objects.

... And perhaps in a certain sense about serendipity : 1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. 2. good fortune; luck.

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  • The two events are not simultaneous, and there's nothing desirable, accidentally or otherwise, in the first. – deadrat Mar 6 '16 at 11:06

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