When reading the works of any fictional writer, the characters seem to come alive. They begin to exude qualities of real living human beings. Do these characters truly experience stress or difficulties in life? If these characters do experience difficulties, how do they bring out human qualities?
At some time or another, we all have been drawn into the lives of fictional characters. Whether it be the latest novel of our favorite writer, or the newest super hero movie. We wait with eager anticipation to see our favorite character become triumphant in the worst of situations. No human is immune to such an attachment with a fictional character at some point in life. There are those that oppose the idea of the connection and the “life” of the fictional character and those that feel the “life” is as real as yours and mine, and feel we need the connection to feed the soul.
Fiction is only imagination. Many people say it is a ridicules idea to give “life” to a fictional character. A fictional character cannot possibly experience the positives of negatives that life has to offer. They can’t experience anything, for they are born of the imagination of the author. This character is not a living breathing being. When an author writes of the experiences of a character within the fictional world, it is truly focused upon the understanding of experiences that the author can imagine. Characters seem to go through the trials and tribulations that give us a certain connection, but it is an unwise connection. The author most likely has an ending in mind that will probably give us very unrealistic expectations. Poetic justice does not happen in real life, and we do not need to be fooled in to thinking it will. Those that do believe such a thing will go into life without an understanding of reality, which leads nowhere.
It is true that a fictional character is not a living breathing being, and it may not always be the best idea to be too connected to a fictional character. However, I see a fictional character as a metaphysical living being. Through the authors understanding of the world and the strengths and weaknesses of the character, we begin to see ourselves inside this imaginary person.
This “person” starts to act and react to certain situations. Before long the character is truly developed and the character has “life”. I call it life because the strength of the personality becomes so strong that even the author, the creator of the character, has a hard time controlling him/her. The experiences that a character goes through, becomes as real as our own and their strengths and weaknesses shine much like ours. Seeing this gives us the connection that we need. One of the most important things to happiness is knowing that we are not alone. Even if a character is born of an author’s imagination, the character is still born and may be able to give us a little hope.