Is Reading an Escape? (Ep. 22)


Hello, fellow literary people!

This week, Jennifer explains how writing is a human creation, and therefore cannot act as a sanctuary from reality because it is a reflection of reality. Our issues are within us at all times, but the medium for approaching them can change.


We’re going to discuss how silly it is to think you can use reading as an “escape hatch” from reality.

But before we talk about literature, I’m going to talk about plants. I think people get bored and irritated with their lives, and want to leave a particular view behind for a while, so they go into the wilderness to gain a different look at their world.

Because we live in a man-made society, we believe we can escape one life and tap into this other environment that is renewing, exotic, and separate from our everyday lives.

The problem is: people create too much separation between the two. For instance, people remove toxic waste from certain neighborhoods and dump it into slums. What people forget, which is similar to leaving the city and going into nature, is that they are both parts of a whole.

When you leave your home and go into the wild, you’re not actually leaving the world, you’re seeing a different aspect of your world.

I think people who poop on their city because they can tap into nature and come back, also do so with their own lives. They believe they can leave their problems unresolved because they can tap into another world that seems better. You can escape your life for a while and not deal with those problems. But, just like how toxins eventually run from the city and into nature, your problems also trickle into your experiences while reading.

So, no matter how imaginative or exaggerated the story is, it is a reflection of the mind of the person who wrote it. Our issues are within us at all times, but the medium for approaching them can change, and it should.

Thank you so much for watching, I greatly appreciate it. And to quote from Whitman: “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”


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