Do We Become What We Read?
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This was a discussion topic on Book Blogs. I didn't participate in the discussion because of how I interpreted the question. So if my answer here walks off in a thousand wrong directions, or scales a mountain and then shears a few moons, or dives into an ocean and births a whale and twin dolphins, I'm sorry.
At the heart of the matter, some very high-fashioned dollars are held up in the entertainment business, and doled out to amazingly high-tailored instructors with specific instructions to teach students 'specifically' how to bring a story off the page. How to make a character sing, when we in fact know, unless it's a children's talking book, books generally do not speak. Even writers like myself, who've never sat in on these very pricey lectures, know this. So every emotion we draw from reading a book is owning and owed to this high-fashioned dollarly, but staggeringly basic design.
It's the same way with film, television, movies. I still remember the lady running down the dark alleyway. A stalker is chasing her. But she's a running, glances over her shoulder once, stumbles, breaks a heel, then loses a shoe, stumbles again, falls, while we're on the other side of the TV screaming, "Run lady! Don't look back! Shucks, if I was her I would've..."
It's entertainment, particularly (of course) when we're talking fiction.
Now, I'm going to step back to one of my father's old, old ruminisisms. As a child I used to watch TV shows like Batman. Dun-nun-na-nunnn-Batman! Remember that? And I know. Just a tellin' on my age, aren't I? At any rate, the musical score was to get us kids all revved up for Batman's next exploit. We were supposed to get excited, start squiggling and squirming in our seats... why some of us real enthusiasts may have even worn a cape our parent's bought so that we could get twice the thrill. But as my father used to scoff, we weren't supposed to be getting so overly obsessed that we tried leaping through his plate glass windows!
Unbelievably, or maybe for some who believe 'we do become what we read', (how I interpreted the question), there were (and are) those who actually take entertainment too far, trying to emulate just what they saw, or read, on screen or in books.
Books certainly are supposed to evoke emotion, except in the case of an adult... primarily, wholly, and especially realistically, our emotional maturity should be developed or matured to a point where we can handle the difference. Please, read it and move along. Or don't read it and leave it alone.
Children may become what they read, or see. Adults should know better, for how else are they to help mentor children to know better?