The Fiction of Life

Brittany - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

When was the last time you put your faith into something you knew could not be real? Though you may not realize it, if you are an avid reader like me, you do it every day. Reading fiction is believing in something unreal; you immerse yourself into the plot even though you know that it is just a story. This is why I not only believe in fiction, but I believe that most people do, whether they realize it or not.

For years now reading has been one of my favorite past times; on the beach, beside a fire, at night before bed, or on a blanket in the back yard. Often, when reading an exceptionally good book, I will take it everywhere with me, or stay up late into the night to finish it. In fact, reading in the car one day with my mom, she asked me if it was an escape. Outright and bluntly, she asked if reading was a form of escapism for me. Of course being the teenager that I am, I answered her question immediately and stubbornly as “No! It’s just a good book, and I want to finish it.” Later, however, I realized that this was the wrong answer, because reading is an escape; a chance to forget actuality and dive into a “happily ever after” or a “once upon a time”.

I believe in fiction not because of the stories of battling wizards, saving Middle Earth, or vampires falling in love, but because I believe the morals and goodness in these stories can exist in real life. In most every fictional story, there is the ideal life the way every person secretly wishes the world should be. Good wins over evil, the hero saves the day, and the girl and the guy end up together. However, even the stories that do not have happy endings, can have examples of good ethics for us to look up to. My friend once said that “The truth is that we hide because we want to be found, we walk away to see who will follow, and we let our hearts get broken to see who cares enough to fix them,” just like in the stories.

So instead of putting my faith into something I know is not real, I choose to put my faith into something I believe can exist. Truth, honesty, courage, and love; all the general features that supposedly only exist in fairytales.