Thursday, October 16, 2014

Literary Fiction & Empathy

According to this article, literary fiction enables people to understand one another because of the affect the novel has on the reader. Literary fiction allows the reader to take in the character as a whole from the way they think to the actions caused by those thoughts.  Because there is no "authoritative voice" like in other genres, the reader is given the superiority over the character and story itself. Giving the reader the power to step out of the picture and become an outside witness alters their thinking when they step back into the picture, making them more understanding of why people say and act the way they do.
Hamlet's conflicts allow us to visualize his thoughts and reactions to the situation and compare them with our own. When I look at Hamlet's situation and my own I discovered that we are very similar in certain ways. When Hamlet expresses his confusion towards the difficult situation by answering questions with more questions, it parallels to the way I think when approached with difficult situations. Whenever life gives me lemons and I don't know how to handle it, I begin to get frustrated because I hate not knowing how to appropriately deal with situations. I begin to ask questions that cloud my mind with more confusion and I end up creating more problems than I originally intended. In conclusion, literary fiction, like Hamlet, helps us step back and look at the bigger picture which leads to a more intricate analysis of smaller details that help individuals understand people's thoughts and actions more in depth.

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