Reality Check

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"Now the only reason to give a character a serious hang-up is to give him the chance to get over it. He may fail, but he gets the chance." (Foster 10)


            If only fiction were reality! If only God (or whatever creator in which you choose to believe) created men and women with faults with the knowledge that they will have the opportunity to overcome them and grow into better people. Some are lucky, like fictional characters, and they are granted the chance to conquer their weaknesses. Many, however, remain flawed. Racism, for example, continues to rage in the United States today even though many Americans refuse to recognize it as a cultural and social issue. In such a case, people who are brought up with racist views rarely have the opportunity for a "fairy tale ending." Foster's other claims at fictional simplicity in the first three chapters of How to Read Literature Like a Professor like "The real reason for a quest never involves the stated reason. In fact, more often than not, the quester fails at the stated task" (Foster 3) are disheartening and attempt to turn the art and mystery of writing fiction into a type of paint by numbers! Yes, his generalities may simplify the interpretation of literature, but the ambiguity is gone.

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