What Are Some Chiasmus Examples?

An example of chiasmus is the famous saying, "Quitters never win and winners never quit." Chiasmus is a rhetorical device in which two or more clauses are related to each other through similar but reverse structures.

A popular quotation from John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech also displays chiasmus: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." In this quotation, the similar but reverse structures are the words "your country ... for you" and "you ... for your country."

Chiasmus is also used to express beliefs in an appealing way, as in this quotation about the maturity that a child brings into a parent's life: "The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults."