The Influence of Sociological Imagination on the Fantasy Genre

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This short story demonstrates how the fantasy genre incorporates the real world and a make believe one. As Herchie is a superhero with every day, human issues like paying taxes. When thinking of fantasy, they first thing that comes to mind is Pixar. Pixar movies do a wonderful job in their connection between fantasy and the history of the world. The Pixar theory is very long and complicated but hopefully this captures the topic pretty well. Starting from the beginning of life on earth, there were dinosaurs. The movie The Good Dinosaur illustrates the cretaceous period. It takes place sixty five million years ago, in an alternate universe where an asteroid misses Earth therefore preserving the life of dinosaurs. This film also illustrates centuries later the first accounts of animals showing intelligence and humans effects on the environment. Up next, the movie Brave. Brave takes place in the tenth century and introduces magic to the world through a witch. Magic has the ability to bring inanimate objects to lie, transform humans into animals, the presence of spirits, and introduce time travel through portals. Some more popular movies like The Incredibles illustrates the government creating supers as a way of harnessing human energy.

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This movie introduces the theme of man versus machine. Technology such as the invention of the A.I. and Omnidroid are used to undermine the supers, which leads to the beginning of Buy n Large (BnL). In Toy Story, Buy n Large has become a toy business. Continuing off of the concept of harvesting human energy, the toys represent the channel of power that feeds off of children emotions. The toys are similar to humans and their goal to make their owners and others happy constantly. In the early 2000s Pixar shows animals developing their intelligence parallel to humans. In Dory, the fish create a community much like our society today. The fish were attending school, learning to read and write. To wrap up part one of the theory the movies Up and Inside Out further illustrate the presence of BnL and the source of human energy. Buy n Large appearing on the construction equipment in UP and animals begin talking to humans through technology like the collar Dug wears.

Finally, in Inside Out Pixar finally informs the viewers that the source of human energy is human emotions as well as imagination. The second part of the Pixar theory takes place in the future. The movie Wall-E encompasses common issues society faces and the consequences of doing nothing. BnL has taken over the world reflecting machines and technology overpowering humans today. The film also reflects the results of overpopulation in the scarcity of resources. Another effect of overpopulation is the pollution caused by humans. Wall-E unites were created to incinerate the worlds garbage which them causes pollution in the atmosphere causing Earth to be unlivable. Continuing on the theme of machines versus humans, the movie Cars illustrates what the world would be like if there were no humans and no rules. The cars resume the roles of humans but later on in the series there is a scarcity on fuel and little human emotion to power the cars. This causes them to die out. And to conclude the theory, Monsters Inc. illustrates the harmony between animals, humans, and machine. All the Pixar film include little elements of a movie in each one (The COMPLETE Pixar Theory).

Likewise, fantasy does the same thing! Fantasy connects to the real world in the aspect of hope and dreams. Dreams are what drive humans to succeed, which also gives them hope for a better life. Fantasy exists as a reminder to dream. It allows humans to believe in the unbelievable. Fantasy clearly gathers the imagination of all mankind and reflects all the “what if” situations a person could fandom. The genre is popular due to its ability to allow the reader to become lost in another universe. Humans enjoy an escape from reality, from paying bills to being in a harmful situation. Fantasy allows our minds to run wild, where anything is possible. In the beginning the target market was children. Adult felt as though it wasn’t real what was the point of reading literature that was unrealistic. However, in the nineteenth century when the United States was at war, fantasy provided families with a sense of happiness and relief. This genre provided an escape from the world of violence they were currently experiencing. Fantasy gives adults the ability to imagine like when they were young. The genre very much so illustrates the loss of innocence and intense imagination humans crave to resurrect from their youth. The sociological impact of fantasy can be seen through three categories, human condition, ethics and morality, and empathy.

In concern to the human impact, fantasy is vital for the human mind. Beginning as the psychological process when a child learns to fill the gaps between knowledge, reality, experience, and becomes a vital adult coping mechanism. Literature allows for the step away from reality and into the safe place of pretend. It prepares humans to look at the world’s harsh reality and face it head on. Fantasy presents children an opportunity to explore the too big, too dangerous world that is becoming closer and closer to the real every day life. Fantasy has a common theme of good versus evil, elaborate quests, and right from wrong, and difficult situations. In the movie Avengers Infinity War directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, our main characters Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, and the remaining Avengers evoke on their quest to defeat evil Thanos. The team’s mission is to gather all six infinity stones, before Thanos, our evil dude, can use the artifact to inflict his twisted will on reality. The Avengers are tasked with determining the fate of the planet.

Furthermore, in the short story Trickster written by Steven Barnes, we see the tradition theme of right from wrong and machine versus man. Our main character Caden, is intelligent and has an endless fascination with the world. He tries his best to learn about anything and everything; this is what leads to his faults. One day Caden and Qutb go for a walk to Modimo’s Hand where they find a machine. In short, this machine calls to Caden, causing him to be the master of the machine. The machine feeds off of Caden and after Qutb frees him, Caden travels back to the machine the following day, leading to his ruin. While Caden knew it was wrong to go back and to allow the machine to feed off of him, he gave in. Due to Caden’s struggle of giving in Trickster illustrated right from wrong in a fun, enjoyable way. Trickster also illustrates the emotional struggle humans face in the real world. As humans it is difficult to make decisions and not be selfish. Humans want to please other people constantly, similarly to how Caden wanted to go back to the machine and allowed it to feed off him. While the Avengers and Trickster are two completely different types of fantasy, they both show common tropes.

The fantasy genre appeals to emotions through each subgenre and the real world applications found within each story. From an author’s perspective writing fantasy has to do with “the writers earliest experiences, with memories that have found their way into the unconscious and been transmuted there” (Attebery). Not only is fantasy for the readers to recapture their youth and innocence as a child, but also the writer. The genre creates a close nit relationship is unique and irreplaceable. As a reader it can be comforting to know one is not alone in the desperate longing to escape reality. This genre of fantasy can not be labeled or confined into one paragraph thus it can be broken down into history, icons, tropes, real world relevance, and sociological impact. It is a very wide and ever-evolving genre. Fantasy encompasses many subgenres at once and even mixes with separate genres. In no way is fantasy and easy and straight forward topic. Fantasy takes little pieces of history, romance, science fiction, mystery, and more in each story.

However, due to its wide variety it has become timeless in literature. Readers love the idea that every book is not the same storyline, fantasy is filled with twists and turn, providing for an enjoyable read. The readers experience a step back into time past, present, or future, where anything is possible. 

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The influence of sociological imagination on the fantasy genre. (2022, Oct 03). Retrieved November 30, 2022 , from
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