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Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world

BingMag.com Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world

Why does watching a movie or reading some stories affect our emotions even though we know they are not real? Why, when an imaginary character dies in a series, some of the followers of that series may even cry over it and show a lot of emotion? Isn't it irrational and somewhat stupid to be upset about something that doesn't even exist?

Willing Suspension of Disbelief is a state of mind between reality and fantasy in which the person is not real He forgets the situation and allows his emotions and perceptions to make it real, but to the extent that his emotions do not become too involved in that mental event, otherwise he quickly withdraws from the imaginary situation and returns to reality. Suspending the framework of the surrounding realities and accepting the fantasy also allows the person to experience situations and events that would not otherwise be possible for them to experience. In fact, this mental process enriches the lives of all of us and allows us to enjoy phenomena such as cinema, literature, computer games, and countless other things.

For example, we all know that vampires They do not exist, but "Twilight" is still one of the best-selling films in the fantasy genre in the world, where many people around the world are consciously and voluntarily immersed in the imaginary world of this work and enjoy its imaginative dimensions.

In the continuation of this article by BingMag, we examine the various dimensions of this mental process from a psychological perspective and examine its role in relating to literature and other types of narrative arts. Join us.

What is the conscious suspension of disbelief?

BingMag.com Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world

Consciousness of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge. With this work, he suspends his critical approach to the unbelievability of the work.

In fact, the conscious suspension of disbelief often manifests itself when studying fantasy works in the genres of action, comedy, fantasy, and horror./p>

The term "conscious suspension of disbelief" became more widely used in the late twentieth century, and it is often interpreted that achieving this stage while reading a work is entirely up to the reader, not the author.


This process may also be used to refer to the audience's willingness to ignore the limitations of a medium, so that these limitations interfere with receiving and enjoying the content of that medium. Jad does not. For example, listening to a radio theater and visualizing it in the audience's mind.

In fact, through the process of consciously suspending disbelief, we can put aside our logical doubts about a narrative context and filter the logical filters of our perception. Suspend temporarily to enjoy the story to the fullest, even if the story or movie contains incredible and extraordinary elements such as a time travel device or super-intelligent robots.

Samuel Taylor Cleridge , The romantic poet, first introduced the idea of "conscious suspension of disbelief" in one of his books in 1815, where he referred to this concept as "poetic faith".

Conscious suspension of disbelief in particular When studying literary works related to genres such as magical realism, Gothic literature, and the genre of science fiction or fantasy, in which the reader is confronted with many extraordinary events and happenings, it becomes vivid and obvious.

Unconscious suspension It is a powerful human behavior. According to Aristotle, when human beings encounter surreal or unreal phenomena, they suspend their critical thinking and simply accept the transcendental world to enjoy this unreal experience. Just like what happens to all of us today when we watch The Matrix or the Luca animation.

Even when we watch sports, the same thing happens to us. That is, we avoid analyzing the match with a critical and logical approach in order to enjoy the story (fantasy) that our team has a chance to win the game.

This process of suspending reality usually rarely has real or serious consequences for the individual. Is looking for. Disappointment with the outcome of the game and grief over the unexpected ending of a movie or story are perhaps the most severe consequences of this process. For example, the audience is not expected to really believe that a woman is cut in half by a saw to enjoy the performance. Is about exploring something unrealistic in order to enjoy the event, such as a storytelling experience for children or watching a mythical play.

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BingMag.com Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world Norman Holland, a psychologist and literary critic, in The description of this process refers to a neurological explanation. When we encounter any kind of narrative construction, our brain is completely in a perceptual state, that is, reality assessment systems and logical operators are turned off for a while, and we communicate with the content of that effect with a receptive attitude and free from any judgment. We do.

In fact, we first recognize and accept the falsity of the narrative, then, in a conscious effort, we find an unbelievable mentality about this lie and use it (according to the rules in each narrative) as an existing reality. We analyze and review. For example, we forget the absence of flying machines, and then, according to the rules of the film, we expect the flying machine to rise higher so that the enemies do not get close to the main character.

Only in this case can the true value of everything be Evaluated. That is, when we refrain from thinking about what we have seen or heard and only receive and perceive that event.

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The conscious suspension of disbelief in the field of literature

BingMag.com Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world

Studying all kinds of fiction requires suspending disbelief because it is not real by definition. For example, to enjoy Romeo and Juliet, the audience must put aside the fact that Montag and Capuleti never lived in Verona, that there was no ancient enmity between them, and that lovers whose stars intersect were doomed to a tragic fate. But by ignoring all of this, the audience can experience a shocking story inspired by some of the best poems in English literature.

The audience of the story must also have patterns of behavior And ignore the abilities of some of the characters in the story who are significantly distant from reality. A prime example is the speech patterns of fictional characters, who are much more mature than ordinary people, and usually do not find the pauses and hesitations of everyday speech in their speech.

Another example is the first-person narrator's point of view. In many stories, the narration of the events of the story is presented to the reader or viewer from the perspective of one person. However, the first-person narrative style involves an over-awareness of the narrator's surroundings, which is almost a superhuman ability and requires an infinite memory to memorize every word of the characters in the story. A work made by no narrator.

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Criticisms of this theory

BingMag.com Conscious suspension of disbelief; The secret to entering the fantasy world

In fact, if viewers really feel their own disbelief To suspend a horror film and accept it as absolute reality, they naturally have to show a set of real reactions.

For example, when the audience sees in the cinema that there is an evil creature from As the back approaches the main character of the film, everyone should shout together: "Look behind you!" Or they should call the police when a screen murder occurs. But no one reacts in this way, because at the same time they do not equate the film world with reality and distinguish between them.

It challenges and instead proposes the paradigm of secondary belief based on the consistency of internalizing reality. Which is true of the fictional world. In fact, the author forms a secondary reality for the audience by focusing on creating a fictional world that is compatible with the system of human inner beliefs.

Tolkien also argues that the suspension of disbelief seems necessary only when the effect in Creating a secondary reality for the audience has failed.

He believes that from that point on, the magical spell of the narrative is broken and the reader is no longer completely immersed in the story, so to communicate with the work, one must Make a conscious effort to suspend his feelings of doubt and disbelief, and if in the face of a work he is unable to remove his critical approach to the work, he will stop reading it altogether.

This article is for educational and informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a specialist before using the recommendations in this article. For more information, read the BingMag Meg Disclaimer .

Source: Philosophy Talk , Psychology Wiki , Shmoop University

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