Absurdist V. Realist Literature Essay

1431 words - 6 pages

Literature is the collection of fictional and non-fictional works, illustrating various themes and tones, allowing the reader to feel and react a certain way. Literature is a form of written art which is representative of various words and meanings. Literary works entertain the reader through presenting various intellectual, ethical, and social problems. A reader’s beliefs are challenged when individuals are presented with feelings pertaining to various “thoughts, pasts, futures, and the ultimate values of stories” (Jewell 1). Absurdist stories illustrate manipulation through presenting the reader with a distorted perception of reality; conversely, realist stories strive to present the reader with a legitimate depiction of lifelike elements through proving that people are indeed products of their environments.
Manipulation and domination are two common themes which are pertinent to numerous real life circumstances. In absurdist forms of literature, manipulation is portrayed through the domination of one character of increased power over another. Similarly, according to the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, bullying has been documented as a form of manipulation in modern society. Bullying is “the systematic abuse of power” over others. Bullying can be likened to the absurdist theme of dominion since “dominance is often associated with social skills and manipulation of belief” (Sutton 444). Furthermore, the Applied Cognitive Psychological Journal describes how manipulating power can affect memory conformity. A recent study monitored the effects of past occurrences and the various mediums through which people receive information pertinent to these events. In one instance, a co-witness gave information about a past event to another individual. The individual then incorporated the co-witness’ account into her own memory reports. In other words, the accounts of others can sometimes manipulate our minds and conscious thought to think and react a certain way (Skagerberg 210). This exemplifies how memory conformity can revolve around power, or domination, as well as the influence of others and their thoughts.
Absurdist stories claim that the reality in which people live is predominantly false; a fraud in which humans are used as pawns illustrating domination and inferiority. The stories create a sense of darkness, discomfort, and dominion. Absurdist stories strive to expose the gap that exists between the internal and the mental landscape; otherwise referred to as the desired, believed, or acknowledged. Absurdist stories reveal various ways through which human beings are manipulated, portraying inferiority as a prominent character trait. Absurdist characters are constantly striving to justify their existence (Bellipanni 92). The short story Pastoralia, by George Saunders is an excellent example of an absurdist form of literature. Throughout the story, contradictions and juxtapositions are made relating a man’s life as a caveman to fax...

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