Fiction may be seen to some as a way of escaping reality. Journalists or Political Activists might feel that an Author writing fiction has no power to influence society, culture, and an individual.
That however is vastly untrue.
For centuries books have been a source of knowledge, the gateway to understanding, and a platform for debate. Fiction novels, have been at the forefront of these in many instances.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence is a book about an aristocratic woman who commits adultery with a working-class man. This book was subsequently banned in the UK due to its sexual content and language. However, it brought to light the plight of censorship and helped to overthrow it.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe is given credit for transforming American views about slavery.
Animal Farm by George Orwell strongly affected readers’ views of government and politics.
The question stands that how could a story, primarily brought together by the Author, have such a profound effect on society, and how we view things?
The answer is found in how these stories have a way to cause the reader to:
- Have empathy for the lead character
- Feel the pain of what they may be going through
- View painful circumstances through the eyes of someone else
- Go through the suffering from a distant yet involved view
- Share in the frustration of societal problems and dysfunctions, and explore possible solutions.
These stories have a way to connect the reader emotionally to a fictitious stranger. It causes people to empathise with a stranger, where they might not empathise with someone they know. It causes them to tap into their emotions and review their stance on real issues.
As an Author of Fiction myself, I have made it my mission to write books that can bring a change to someone else’s life. Whether it’s showing them the power of forgiveness or allowing them to have empathy for someone else who is going through the hardest moments in their life. For me, it’s important, to not just write beautiful stories, but to have a lasting impact on the very person whose hands grace the pages of my books.
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