Nothing can carry us “down the currents of story to the land of imagination” quite like fiction can. Scientists are slowly discovering our stories shapes culture, and not simply the reverse. We use literature to challenge society, explore new ideas, inspire debate, and walk a mile in another’s shoes instead of just using books and movies as mirrors to reflect what our culture already believes. For instance, can Hunger Games lead us to view capitalism in a new way? Or will the worlds Ayn Rand paints inspire the other values?
- Have you ever gotten really emotionally wrapped up with a favorite character? Who?
- List some popular movies and books. Brainstorm the ‘moral of the story’ they present.
- What books have sparked new ideas or perspectives for you? What are some other popular books that have challenged social norms and introduced new ideas?
- If fiction can change reality, is this always a good thing?
- Why is it important to read different books that provide a range of perspectives?
Keywords: literature, art, fiction, imagination, reality, society, writing