« EL 266 final chapters of AHF-Leave it to Tom | Main | EL 266 Mallioux The Bad-Boy Boom. See and be seen »

EL 266 Foster Chapter 23, 24- Ugh! I'm dying!

"But as we've seen time and time again, what we feel in real life and what we feel in our reading lives can be quite different." (Foster)

I tend to agree with Foster. In reality, we feel for a person that has been stricken with an immediate illness. We do not look back at their lives until they are deceased. What I'm trying to say is, in literature, us, the reader, has to be educated in a sort of back story in order to understand what is currently going on. In reality, hearing that Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with cancer, we instantly become sympathetic towards him.
The author has to create the illness. Build their character before giving he/she a diagnosis. Look, for instance, at Arthur Dimmsdale in The Scarlet Letter. He constantly holds his hand over his heart. Although he is older, I automatically thought that he had some kind of condition. It turns out that it was more metaphoric. I would not have realized this if I had not read the novel in its entirety.


I had not thought of that quote... That makes sense though. We associate better if we have at least a base understanding - hearing about some random person with cancer doesn't affect us, but learning your mom has cancer really does affect us.
As always, it's about perspective.

I had never really thought about that on a conscious level before, but I agree. In fiction, the author has to make us care. If the details aren't there, it's just like reading a list of information, possibly even like reading an impersonal history book that sucks all of the emotion out. The details have to be there in order to make the reader view the character as being real within the fictional world and therefore sympathetic to that character.

I really like this quote. In life if someone we know has been diagnosed with, i'll continue the cancer idea, cancer than we feel more sympathetic and feeling for the character and their family that has been diagnosed with cancer in the book. But if someone was diagnosed with diabetes, we still may feel bad but we won't be affected by it as much. It also could bring those feelings out that we could have tried to hide or just forgot about.

You make a great point Jeremy. Without the author creating the background we think "oh how sad" for the character just as we do for the acquaintances that we barely know, but with the background, as readers we develop a relationship with the character and in some cases. If you really think about it, it shows the selfish side of humans, in that unless we are directly involved we don't really care.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

[Future Spam Check]