Does Reading Fiction Make Us Better People

Read “Does Reading Fiction Make Us Better People?” According to this article, the act of reading fiction retrains our brains in ways that enhance our empathy and understanding of other people.

With this theory in mind, examine the story you have chosen for Paper 2 and reflect on the characters and your feelings toward them. Use specific examples from the story to support your assertions.

  • Are there any characters for whom you feel positive or negative feelings? Specifically, what in the story causes you to have these feelings?
  • Which characters in the story cause you to feel empathy by imagining yourself in their position? Why? Are there any elements of the story that cause you to imagine the character’s experience?
  • Has reading the story helped you understand an aspect of human experience in a new way? Do you feel more empathy for people because of the story?
  • Based on your experience as a reader, do you think the theory that reading literature enhances empathy is valid? (There is no right answer, so don’t be afraid to disagree with the theory.)