Life's a Fairy Tale

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"Whereas in life things may 'just happen,' in literature all actions, interactions, speeches, and observations are deliberate ... By making such actions interesting, authors help you understand and appreciate not only their major characters but also life itself."  (64)

This quote really struck me as something I can relate to and appreciate regarding literature.  One of the most rewarding aspects of literature, to me, is gaining more knowledge about the human race.  Yes, fiction is defined as "narratives based in the imagination of the author, not in literal, reportorial facts" (404), meaning that some - or all - of the content could be completely imagined.  However, readers tend to be drawn to characters that are "true to life" that do "what human beings are likely to do, say, and think under the conditions presented in the literary work" (69).  

The human mind, and the way a person reacts to different circumstances, fascinates me because it can be so different from person to person.  Literature provides a way to examine those differences, whether it is in one story or in a whole library of books with varying characters.  In all honesty, I think I've learned more about myself and the world around me through fictional stories than I have in real life experience, just because literature provides countless opportunities to put myself in a different perspective from my own.  I can see a situation and predict how a person will respond to it, and usually guess correctly, because I've seen myself in a similar situation while pretending to be a fictional character.  Maybe it's a little pathetic that most of what I know about life is from the minds of fictional people, but that doesn't bother me because I feel like I have experienced countless events that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to undergo.


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