Platform 9¾ to the land of books - An analysis of escapism

Platform 9¾ to the land of books - An analysis of escapism

   On 21st July 2007, the seventh and final installment in the wildly popular series of books named "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" was released. On that very day, it sold out 11 million copies. Books like "Lord of the Rings" - that were written in the 1950s can still be seen getting sold out in bookstores, while others like "A Song of Ice and Fire," that started in 1996, still has a massive fan following. Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series revolutionized the Young Adult books' entire genre, and people still bicker over the main character's choices. 

     Do you see a pattern emerging? 

     Despite having a formula to them - where they're set in a pleasing backdrop, with relatable and flawed characters, they're all set in the genre of fiction. Have you ever stopped and wondered why these books are so popular? Why their sales are always off the charts? Why do people keep coming back for them even after decades of their release? There may be a plethora of reasons, but one seemingly obvious reason could be "escapism."

 

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     So, what is escapism? Or rather, why is it relevant here?

     Escapism refers to seeking distraction and relief from unpleasant realities by engaging in fantasy. Have you ever felt as though you are delving into a new world when you pick up a book? Or as though you've stepped into a portal? This is exactly what escapism is. You begin to live the novel's entire length in the fictional world, as depicted in the books. However, this level of engrossment varies from one person to another. To some, it feels as though they've lived their whole lifetime beside the lead characters, while to others, it's just a method to unwind and relax. 

     Books like Harry Potter create a secondary world for us readers - a mystical world filled with endless possibilities and magic. The various inter-weaving elements of elves, dragons, goblins, ogres, and other mythical creatures provide us with a very appealing escape from the real world. Escapism isn't necessarily something negative. It is an aspect that is imperative to cultivate our humanity and imagination. We are conditioned to feel the need to escape our dreary and mundane lives. Books are the most effective way of escapism because, within them, lie elements of fantasy while being grounded to reality, self-improvement through the realization of erroneous choices and universal truths. These elements can prove to be a good source of life lessons and morality. They help magnify the stark contrast between good and evil while also depicting a gray area that needs to be navigated tactfully. 

 

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     Sometimes, fiction manages to explain things that reality fails to convey effectively. Living your life in a fictional world can be compared to a sort of ignorance, and in some cases, ignorance is bliss. But, escapism can prove to be quite harmful too. Because as gratifying it is to get lost in a story - it is, after all, just a story. There is no way you can ever get to live your favorite fictional character's life. Eventually, you are forced back into reality. 

     What is the solution?

     Just like everything in life, moderation is the key. Too much or too little of anything can prove to be detrimental. Balance is what is needed. There needs to be a balance between escapism and reality. Only then will there be a balance between imagination and real life.

 

5 Comments

kishorbalgi

I could relate every single bit of this article. Nicely written👍

RajathPrabhu

This is such a nice article!

Gurudath

Nice Article

RakshithaRNayak

Wonderful!

Niranjan

Wow! informative and intriguing article.