Reading fiction involves becoming familiar with story characters, developing concerns about their struggles, and cheering them on to victory. The empathies that emerge from experiences with heroes and villains, plots and subplots, and suspense and resolution provide substantial enjoyment. Our routine investments with story characters and settings are evidenced by the popularity of book series such as Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hunger Games, A Game of Thrones, The Dark Tower, Dune, and Outlander. The authors of these series detail the exploits of recurring characters that, over time, become champions and scoundrels, with readers establishing expectations they will behave in ways consistent with previous behaviors and traits. Characters like Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Frodo the hobbit perhaps prove popular because audiences can count on them to continue to make amazing deductions, escape impossible deathtraps, and complete perilous quests as they have done in previous stories. We read their ongoing tales to see how they will deal with new hurdles, given we know what they are capable of and the resources they can rely upon to overcome problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)