Effectiveness of Fiction

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Often in fiction, immoral characters develop a sense of justice and empathy through their struggles and actions. In the works of literature, the sense of justice and empathy is portrayed in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald. This is also illustrated in the articles “Why fiction is good for you” by Jonathan Gottschall and “7 Benefits of Reading Fiction” by Jill Brennan. All of these works of literature help demonstrate the effectiveness of fiction. In the article, “Why fiction is good for you” by Jonathan Gottschall, the author describes the benefits of fiction as shown in studies. Gottschall states, “Reading narrative fiction allows one to learn about our social world and as a result fosters empathetic growth and prosocial behavior.”(Gottschall). By this Gottschall means by reading fiction, one learns about how the world is developed socially and how it can produce positive effects on oneself. Gottschall then references a study made by psychologist Marcus Apple that displays a study of television viewers. (Gottschall). Gottschall describes that people who consume a lot of fiction believe that there is justice in the real world; he says that in order for this world to work properly and normally people must believe that there is justice. He describes Appel's studies by stating, "Apple concludes that fiction, by constantly exposing us to the theme of poetic justice, may be partly responsible that the world is, on the whole, a just place." (Gottschall). In Gottschall article, he illustrates that the dominate theme of fiction is indeed poetic justice; that our world is fair and just. Gottschall mentions more than once that those who read fiction may view the world as more fair then those who do not read fiction. The reason for this is those people want to believe that our world is good. People must know that crimes do not go unpunished and that the good are rewarded. Without people believing this, society would simply go...
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