What is fiction?

Posted by on September 8, 2008

The first essay…keep in mind I wrote this at 2am, and was due the same day, so if it doesn’t make sense blame the time…

Fiction is a natural right. Fiction is a dream. Fiction is the natural right of every individual to dream. The culmination of our hopes, desires, and perception is fiction; it is in this world of fiction these three key components play together to create a mental world separate from our own. Every time we have hopes, we are hoping for something that does not exist now but we wish for it in the near future. Every time we desire something it is fiction, because that which we desire does not exist at the moment, but we wish for it in the near future. Fiction just is that which does not exist now but we wish for it to exist, and it comes into being through the culmination of our hopes, desires, and perception of life.

Fiction does not necessarily entail something being a video game, movie, or TV show, rather “fiction” through those media could just be reflections upon our own lives and the way we fictitiously live them; the way we behave in everyday life due to the hopes and desires pushing us forth. This is the realization that can be seen through many video games such as The Sims, or even Grand Theft Auto, or other video games where the player may use the character to do whatever he or she wishes or desires. In support of this view o
f fiction, Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, while speaking to Chuck Klosterman, the author of the book Sex, Drugs, and cocoa puffs, tells him that “’…it does seem like some people come to these interesting conclusions about themselves when they play. And if a game changes your perception of the world around you, it’s successful.”

Viewing fiction from a slightly different scope is the literary observation of two words that are often used in opposition, Fact and Fiction; though, that has never been clear to me why it is that way. Something factual does not mean it contains truth, and something fictitious does not mean it does not contain truth. For example, it is factual information that Columbus discovered the Americas and the Native Americans, and that some historians have written Columbus developed a good relationship with them. That does not make it true information. In fact, Columbus was one of the first people to make slaves of the Native Americans, sending them to Europe in exchange for money; all the while, the Natives endured immense cruelty and hardship.

If viewed thusly, fact then becomes the objective view of truth, eliminating the several factors involved in deciphering it, while fiction becomes the subjective view of the truth, which allows for many interpretations and perceptions upon the objective truth. While facts would be the accumulation of specific data, fiction would be the interpretation of those data recorded. Fiction, then, allows for people, societies to cultivate their thinking through realizations, which come from the process of reflection presented by different media, of how it is that they truly perceive life, and what it is exactly they are continually hoping and desiring for.

While the literary sense of fiction provides us with reflections into our own inner lives, fiction in general also serves to provide us with goals, even if they maybe a bit dreamy, that are fostered in our minds through our hopes, desires, and perceptions. That which the King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., sought in his world was something fictitious. It was something that did not exist at the moment, but his hopes, desires, and perceptions pushed him to seek the day his dream would come true; this is the basis for fiction being a dream. If this dream was not allowed to exist, then the King would not have been who he was, and is why fiction is a natural right. If the dream was not allowed to exist, then the realizations society made through the King’s speeches and actions would not have been possible. For the purpose of serving this need of realizations in society, fiction is the natural right of every individual to dream.

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