Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.
Stories are fantasy, but in this fantasy we are free to explore life, truths, and our own experiences. We can try on different roles, live vicariously in different eras, and struggle with different villains.
Stories are so important to us that we set them down in books, then in plays, movies, and television. From early childhood we were enraptured with them and made up our own in play.
I don’t know if it’s metaphor or vicariously living with the protagonist or the natural rise and fall in tension. I’m not sure if it’s anticipation, the wonder of “what’s next,” or the need to tell our own stories until we’ve fully accepted them.
Stories teach, warn, comfort, thrill, amuse, and challenge. Fables, urban legends, adventure—stories both entertain us and resonate in us. I recognize it. I know it. I can’t say I understand it. From the first gathering of tribes, there have been stories. How many story lovers have written a thesis or dissertation on the humanity of stories? Not enough, I think.
Stories communicate ideas, beliefs, the state of society in all its horror and splendor. I can’t imagine a life without stories, can you? We tell them at work, with friends, to ourselves. We relate the events of our lives with a beginning, middle, and end.
To listen to and tell stories is to be human.
Why do you think humans developed stories? What is it about stories that binds us?