Thursday, 13 September 2012

Why are Spies and Vampires so Popular?

Which types of books do you find the most interesting? Are the Hunger Games your thing, or do you prefer the Gallagher Girls? Perhaps you prefer more intellectual classical works such as Alice and Wonderland and Treasure Island. Most young adults don't read at all, but sometimes there are huge crazes and entire communities become engrossed in one particular series. 

Once this was Harry Potter, which captivated the hearts of billions through its magical and visionary setting. The quest that we were lead on through the novels was full of mystery and excitement, and most importantly, plenty of unexpected twists. 
A few years ago the craze was the Twilight Series, incorporating dark myths and humankind's perverse interest in bloodshed and macabre romance. The tangled love triangle and complicated secrets which entrap Bella fascinate us while we read, eager to know what could happen in this distorted reality.
James Bond has always been the epitome of cool, and whenever someone mentions spies, this is the idea that your mind will spring to. The author once a spy himself, Fleming was able to create a cryptic and furtive character who will remain forever in literary history. The excitement of a life that none of us will ever be able to lead is the reason that spy novels are so popular!

Essentially it all comes down to seven basic story types that each and every tale must include to be able to lift itself off the ground.  The unrealistic nature of these archetypes are enjoyable as they create an idea which no one could expect in their own day to day lives. These include:

  • Rags to Riches
  • Hero with a Fatal Flaw
  • A Debt that Must be Paid
  • Love triangle
  • Tragic Romance
  • Spider and the Fly
  • The Gift that is Taken Away
My question to you is: can you find a story line that doesn't in some way implicate one or more of these basic types? 

What I am basically trying to say here is that Spies and Vampires are so popular in modern culture because they signify a reality that can remain only a dream to us in real life. The element of vibrancy that we experience through these novels just cannot be replicated in real life. Therefore we are encouraged to dream on and imagine, pretend that life could be different. Fictional stories appeal to our imaginative senses simply because we get bored with out own lives. That's just the thing, no matter how much you have already, humans still want more. 

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