Sunday, December 7, 2014

“Fantasy” Might Become True through Cultural Awareness

Chikako Takano
ENGL 217
Bruce Simon
Response Essay
2014/10/19, revised 2014/11/06

“Fantasy” Might Become True through Cultural Awareness

So far, I have read many kinds of books and stories. What the most fascinating genre was the books about fantasy. There are huge numbers of “fantasy fiction” stories all over the world. They have attracted many people that the books and stories make readers dream and enable anything to come true. When I look into the world of fantasy literatures, I face to one broad question: how do people categorize specific books into "fantasy fiction"? Where is the entrance of the fantasy world in those kinds of books or stories?

To answer my question, I searched the definition of the word “fantasy” in a dictionary at first. It said that “The faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.” In other words, the things that happen farther from our real world would be called “fantasy.” Until today, I have read some fantasy novels in the class, and all of them are fiction that no identification with actual persons, places, buildings and products is intended. However, I assume that we still have a small possibility to jump into the world full of “fantasy” in which we would experience uncommon things. In my case, studying and making my living abroad would be called “fantasy” by people in my country because I am doing completely different things from my ordinary life in Japan right now fortunately. Most Japanese might dream of living in foreign countries at least once, and hardly comes true. Here I stand in Fredonia, I cannot talk to people with my first language, and I have to write my essay in foreign language. There are some cultural differences that my common sense raised in my country for a long time rarely makes any sense.

Those of my experiences have some similarities with protagonists in any fantasy fiction novels. Like Alice in Alice in Wonderland, she becomes smaller or bigger body easily and dramatically by eating or drinking. All non-humankinds like animals or flowers are speaking and singing English fluently, and it makes sense even they talking in crazy ways in the wonderland. In the text of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, readers will meet witches, wizards, and many characters that are able to speak though they are not humankinds as well as in the wonderland. Also, considering to the differences of our national characters, Japanese people think it is totally improbable to lose our houses by strong wind although it might be happened when we get a huge earthquake or tsunami. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is also full of weird things that September meets, creatures that we are not able to find in our society like a wyvern or a marid. If I were that girl and asked suddenly to save the fairyland with those kinds of creatures, I would go into fits.

In the first place, every protagonist in the fantasy novel has their ordinary life, but they jump into extraordinary events or worlds all of a sudden. Bilbo in The Hobbit changes his peaceful life into the full of adventure by meeting the wizard and seeking the ring. Four children in the book of Narnia who evacuated from the world war to the countryside find the entrance of the magic world of Narnia. This might be effect reader that how many people did try to find it by exploring their closets or wardrobes. Like them, my life has totally changed once I received the first letter from SUNY Fredonia. It was my key to enter the new world to see and hear unfamiliar things.

Our humankinds have longed to the creation of fairy-tales and Disney movies when we are young. There can be some adults including me still dreaming of it so hard in this society. As well as the protagonists in the fantasy novels, many troubles and trials are waiting for people who are experiencing unordinary things in different environment like me. Nevertheless, they will obtain significant knowledge and dearest companies that they would not able to do it in their ordinary life. Everything depends on your way of thinking; our lives will totally change into fantasy by various occasions. How we reach the ending of our story would depend on how we seek for new things and enjoy our entire lives.

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