April 26, 2013

Wish Fulfillment = W: Blogging from A to Z

Only 4 more days to go in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

W, X, Y and Z are left. Nothing like ending a blogging challenge with an uphill climb. Not the easiest of letters left to go. 
My genie lamp

Continuing with my literary devices theme, today is all about Wish Fulfillment.

Wish Fulfillment
In psychoanalytic criticism, wish fulfillment refers to something in literature that satisfies the conscious or subconscious desires of either the creator or the reader of a work. A writer of action adventure stories, for instance, might imagine a male protagonist who is stronger, tougher, younger, and smarter than himself. This protagonist lives a sophisticated life of international intrigue; he woos exotic women and foils evil plots, doing all the things the writer himself cannot do. Readers sharing similar conscious or unconscious fantasies may be attracted to such stories to fulfill their own desires vicariously. Nearly all popular literature has some element of wish fulfillment in it. (source)

Our earliest stories are often fairy tales. In these, the clear expectation is that the main character(s) will live happily ever after. Romance novels can take us out of our mundane day to day and deliver some steam, often delivering a knight in shining armor.

We are drawn to books for many reasons, but escape is usually at the top of the list. When we are looking for wish fulfillment or an escape, we don't tend to search for heavy material.

Freud, in his The Interpretation of Dreams, insists that dreams are the result of our wish fulfillment. So, in many ways, are our book choices. 

I wonder sometimes why some people are so wrapped up in one genre, while I flit from one genre to the next. But then I thought about it. I tend to pick books and movies based on my mood at the time. 

If I'm feeling overdone with life, I will pick something light or a romance. Simple escapism. Other times, I want to figure out why we women do what we do (I am the mom to three girls after all). So, it's on to women's fiction.

What book are you currently reading? Does it fulfill some need to escape?

And don't forget to check out the other Ws here.


Dani said...

I know what you mean. I had to get a little creative for X and Z. Almost there.

Arlee Bird said...

I tend to be a genre hopper in reading and film watching. I will disagree to some extent on his interpretation of dreams. I think occasionally our dreams are wish fulfillment, but mostly I think they are data analysis of what has happened to us or what we may be looking forward to happening.

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog