Thursday, June 25, 2009

When Fiction is Pure Fiction

Fiction, at times, is nothing but pure fiction. There is a rule in fiction that all prophecies are true. The prophecy can come in any form, whether written on a stone or the vision of a drug addict. However it comes, it will come true, though the hero may find a loophole of some kind. I’m sure there must be exceptions, but some authors who have tried using unfulfilled prophecies have reported having trouble getting their work published. It is hard to say whether this is truly due to the belief that the prophecy should be fulfilled or whether the story just wasn’t that interesting without it being fulfilled. That may be worth exploring at another time.

Another purely fictional thing we notice about fiction is that the leader of religions outside the mainstream are true in every respect. I watched Annie the other day, in which there is this Indian dude who has the ability to levitate things. No normal American would be able to do that, but because this guy is an easterner and believes in magic, it somehow makes it possible. We often see stories in which a character consults an old Native American, who speaks to his spirit guides and receives some great wisdom like, “the wind does not always blow from the west.” After which, the protagonist goes off and discovers some profound meaning in the old man’s words. But if a peer had said the same thing, the words would have been dismissed.

Along that same line, Amish fiction is popular right now. When the Amish are covered in fiction, they are often portrayed as being a little wiser than the rest of us, understanding that the simple life is somehow better than having all of the modern conveniences. All the old timers I know would tell you that’s a bunch of hogwash, but such is fiction.

Tomorrow, I plan to talk about some reasons these things are in fictional stories.