Human Nature and Literary Fiction
Human nature is a part of Nature’s various properties, like beasts, stones and trees. It is like nature’s other possessions, mostly dormant and innocent till it is brought into the ambit of society. Once schooled in society, it is subjected to a double pronged education. On the one hand it is brought under the burden of civilization and on the other hand it picks up society’s double standards – acting for the self under the pretense of doing that for the other. Society is like a perfect coquet that operates maliciously with smiles and beguiles people into adopting its ways.
Like we socialize our pets, making them more civil in company, society socializes us taking away our natural instincts and guiding us to follow the more socially generated trails. Society distances us from ourselves, our real selves in possession of our innate natures. This happens for the general convenience of humanity, just as marriage is for the general convenience of the family. We tame animals and make them pets for our convenience and society tames us for its advantage. We gain something but also lose something in the process.
Literary fiction often has this in the background. It shows how this social interference with human nature can be both beneficial and harmful for man. Much of the conflict that drives fiction into the hands of readers arises out of society’s tampering with human nature. There are authors who pay more attention to society and others that do so to individuals. Of them, the first category often takes to the route to comedy and the second proceeds toward tragedy. Society comes in to avert tragedies and transform life into apparently comedic situations.
Literature should strive to reveal how society’s interventions lead to apparent peace only; for real bliss, it is necessary to transgress social boundaries and dwell in the domain of human nature. My writings, particularly my short stories, reveal this trait. A sensitive reader of INTRIGUING WOMEN is likely to notice this.
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