Non-Fiction vs. Fiction: Which Has Greater Impact on the Mind and Emotions?

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It’s a legitimate question, don’t you think? One that almost certainly stirs debate and the occasional argument. Many may say non-fiction has a greater impact than fiction on the mind and emotions of the responder because non-fiction literature is based on a true story. Non-fiction authors give responders the ability to understand the experiences and difficulties that they have faced and gone through. For example taking a look at the diary of Anne Frank creates an eagerness as you read from one line to the next. (Wednesday the 13th of January 1943 - top of page 84: “I could spend hours telling you about the suffering the war has brought, but I’d only make myself more miserable. All we can do is wait, as calmly as possible, for it to end. Jews and Christians alike are waiting, the whole world is waiting, and many are waiting for death.”) The diary of Anne Frank is about a young, Jewish teenage girl (Anne) writing in her diary to (Kitty), and it revolves around the thoughts and feelings she experiences in her everyday life while at the same time, hiding in an Annexe of an apartment from the Germans during the Second World War. After a year or so in hiding, she comments, “What we each want to do first when we’re able to go outside again.” Her situation was difficult, tough, scary and dangerous, always worried about the day the Germans would arrest her and her family. In fiction books, these situations are make believe, even though some fictional situations have the capacity to seriously involve the reader, the reader still is somehow detached and isn’t made to feel the angst and desperation an individual like Anne is going through, as in her real life experience. (Sunday the 11th of July 1943 - Bottom of page 109: “Going outside! Just think of it, walking down the street! I can’t imagine it.”) Anne Frank’s diary draws the reader in and personally involves them in her experiences, fiction may draw readers in with its settings, plots and characters but...
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