Crabby Conversations: Animals Don’t Talk

FICTION: literature in the form of prose, especially short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.


Now that we’re all on the same page with the same definition, let’s take a deeper look. The main word that sticks out at me is imaginary. Which, as we all know, means fake. Fictional. Pretend. Imaginary. Unreal. Fantasy. Falsehood. Nonsense.

I find it absolutely preposterous that some people chalk up their dislike of reading to the fact that the books contain fictional events. Or that everything has to be in a metaphorical sense because that certain event can’t happen in real life. Well, yeah. That’s why it’s called fiction. That’s why we read it, so we can escape into an imaginary world much more interesting than our own.

My first example: we had a discussion on The Metamorphosis by Franz Kufka in my literature class during sophomore year. The debate was on whether the main character actually turns into a bug or metaphorically changes into a bug. And I get that literature is art; it can be interpreted in many different ways. But, one of my classmate’s reason for thinking the change is metaphorical was because “people can’t turn into bugs.”

No, no, no, no! Thanks for stating the obvious, but this is fiction. Imaginary. He can do whatever he wants. He can grow sand-papery purple wings and jump off a building that reaches space and flap away to another planet and be completely content with his decision. If he wants to turn into a bug, he can very well turn into a bug! I don’t mind people having different opinions than me (I think he turns into a bug literally and the transformation metaphorically signifies his feelings), but I  prefer an actual reason for their opinions rather than a lame excuse.

My second example: my cousin who despises reading (you know who you are *evil glare*) dislikes Charlotte’s Web. Just take a second for that to soak in. Who could hate Charlotte’s Web?? Well, her reasoning is (you guessed it) “animals don’t talk.”

That spider can dance, jive, or be the star of Mamma Mia if she wants to. Why? Because it’s fictional! Yes! It’s a beautiful thing, fiction. Those animals can sit around their little barn and jabber on from the weather last week to the themes in The Heart of Darkness. They can have a book blog or run for president. They can do anything. Be anything.

And isn’t that why fiction is so wonderful? As readers stuck in our insipid no magic, talking animals, or super powers world, we have to find some escape to spice things up a bit. I can only read so many books about day to day life. Because I live a normal life. I go through those motions everyday, and I want to see teenagers overthrowing their corrupt government, cyborgs taking a stand, and talking animals! Wizards, mutants, and man-bugs are always welcome. In fiction, it doesn’t matter. There are no restrictions, no impossible.


And isn’t that what everyone wants? A world without the impossible. No, unlimited amounts of worlds without the impossible.

Sure, they tell you anything is possible is our boring world. And that can be true, within limits. It’s possible to become an astronaut or become a billionaire. But it is completely and utterly impossible to understand animals, breathe naturally underwater, and sprout wings. Not in fiction. Fiction finds something for everyone. Nobody is left without an interesting book to dive into. And if you can’t find anything, then you can create a world to fall in love with.

Look at this, I’m beginning to tear up. *sniffs and strokes stacks of books affectionately* Seriously, though. There is no reason for a person to hate fiction or books or reading in general, because there is a plethora of plot-lines and writing styles to choose. And if you hate reading, then you obviously just haven’t found your niche. But with the millions and millions of books in the world, you will like at least one of them. And with that in mind, you can’t hate all books or all fiction. And you certainly can’t use the excuse that “it’s not real” to explain your unreasonable dislike of a huge array of stories.




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