« It does grow on trees: Comfort Azubuko on food forests in public space | Main | A focused, relaxing ride: Arielle Pardes on the “slow web” »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Hunter Renard

Hello. Jonathan Gottshall is an American literary critic specializing in literature and evolution. He teaches at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, as well as he is the author or editor of seven books.
"We are addicted to stories. Even when our body is asleep, the mind is awake all night, telling stories to itself. "
In some ways, he's right. We write our stories every day, but we do not really think about it. After all, as we behave with people today, we can hang around tomorrow or a little later. All the problems that we do not want to solve ourselves, then they'll go down on us like a lump. Moreover, at each age the perception of the same problems is different. For example, a student experiencing difficulty with writing research papers considers this a big problem. And their writers http://essaymap.org/research-paper/ solve it at a time.
So what prevents us from becoming the author of our life, the one we write ourselves and how we dream? Live now, enjoy every moment. After all, as the wise King Solomon said, "Everything will pass" ...

B. Tropper

In his essay “Why fiction is good for you,” Jonathan Gottschall makes a compelling case that fiction helps develop human character. He argues that, “while fiction often dwells on lewdness, depravity, and simple selfishness, story tellers virtually always put us in a position to judge wrongdoing, and we do so with gusto” (Gottschall). Furthermore, he points out that fiction is dominated by poetic justice and that, “…fiction generally teaches us that it is profitable to be good” (Gottschall). Taking his argument to the next level he argues profoundly, that fiction can be more effective than nonfiction in shaping character. When we read nonfiction we are guarded, critical, and skeptical, and so the lesson may not penetrate. In contrast, when absorbed in a story of fiction we drop our intellectual guard and are moved and inspired emotionally. Notwithstanding the strength of his argument, ultimately factual accounts of real heroes and true displays of character and virtue have the power to strengthen and inspire the human spirit far more than fictitious ones. When confronted with real-life challenges a person needs real-life examples to guide him. “If he could do it I could do it;” a fictional hero is insufficient. I could learn from my grandfather’s persistence to be persistent. I could learn from my uncle’s integrity to be honest. I can learn from my mother’s compassion to be kind. Fictional heroes are wonderful and perhaps useful in cultivating values and shaping character, but in real-life moments of conflict and challenge a person can only turn to real heroes for inspiration and strength.


I think Fiction is good for individual in the same way that the author. For me, Fiction is a way to forget about reality of life and find a better way to see the world. In his text, Gottschall is explaining how Fiction is good and benefits to us. Fiction is shaping us for the good. He gave many examples to show it like, “For example, studies reliably show that when we watch a TV show that treats gay families non judgmentally (say, “Modern Family”), our own views on homosexuality are likely to move in the same nonjudgmental direction. History, too, reveals fiction’s ability to change our values at the societal level, for better and worse.” which mean that Fiction is helping us to see things differently, in a better way.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Become a Fan