Prompt #12 from November 2006

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Many people deny that stories about characters and events that are not real can teach us about ourselves or about the world around us. They claim that literature does not offer us worthwhile information about the real world. These people argue that the feelings and ideas we gain from books and stories obstruct, rather than contribute to, clear thought.

~ Adapted from: Jennifer L. McMahon, "The Function of Fiction"

Can books and stories about characters and events that are not real teach us anything useful? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.