Loneliness In Christine Rosen's Essay 'In The Beginning Was The Word'

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In Christine Rosen’s essay, “In the Beginning Was the Word,” she mentions a quote by C.S. Lewis, “We read to know we are not alone” (234). He explains that books are pathways to a better insight on what it means to be human. They are a way for people to cope with loneliness because it allows them to relate and empathize with the characters in the story, allowing them to feel like they are a part of the story. Although it cannot single-handedly combat loneliness, books are one way to help some people feel less lonely. For example, when people read good fiction, they feel as if they are immersed into the book because it presents a compelling and enjoyable tale. Readers begin to experience many things with the characters such as the characters’ …show more content…
Readers have the ability to connect with the characters and their experiences by placing themselves in the characters’ shoes. Back in my senior year of high school, I read a novel called Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The plot revolved around a black protagonist, the invisible man, who struggled to survive in a racially divided society that refused to view him as a true human being. He comes across many people and situations that eventually leads him to face the truth about racism and his own lack of identity. Reading this novel allowed me to understand the emotions, the pain, and the suffering he went through. I felt as if I were right beside him, experiencing everything that was happening. According to Professor Simon Baron-Cohen from the documentary Why Reading Matters by Chris Hale, the amygdala is considered to be the emotions center not only because it is "involved in the experience of emotion when we have emotions, but also when we’re trying to understand somebody else's emotions.” This is important because it can help with loneliness since readers will be able to feel and interact with the characters in the story any way they want. For example, my amygdala was activated because I was able to understand the protagonist’s emotions, and it hurt me to know that he was being neglected from society. Having the ability to empathize and understand somebody else’s emotions is …show more content…
Readers want to feel like they belong in the book, thus be able to relate to the characters and connect and interact with them. Being able to empathize and connect with characters in a book like this shows that the reader is never really alone because he/she will always be kept company by the exciting and spectacular story the book provides. I believe this works more effectively with a print book rather than an online version, since one can do so much more with the print version, most of which is limited on the online version. Furthermore, one becomes less distracted reading from a print book versus an online copy. The difference between reading literature and reading online is that it gives those who are reading literature the ability to easily retain the information, and at the same time, expand their understanding of the characters as well as other people’s thoughts and

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