- Are fictional characters real?
How many times did you happen to cry more after some fictional characters rather than real things that happen to you? To be touched by book stories, movies, animations and series rather than your own story? Many times, right?
Even so, is it justifiable? Is it a good thing to be sad for fictional characters, to feel it so strongly? But more importantly, if I feel everything so intensely or if I want it to be real, is it actually true?
Let’s find out.
Firstly, what is reality?
Many would say that reality is what we can see, feel, hear, etc. But this false. Feelings are deceitful and change very often, they present us only a part of reality, which is easier to “grasp”. Sure, no one can say that the Earth doesn’t exist, but it doesn’t represent everything that exists. You know about gravity. Even if we can’t see it, it exists, even if no one ever felt my brain, with any of their senses, I still think it’s there.
And I consider that “heavy” truths go beyond our physical perceptions. Let us not forget that Stephen Hawking spent his whole life researching black holes, something we barely have an image about.
How is the real world, then?
The real world is harsh, sour, but most importantly, deceitful. And what I wanted to say with my last adjective is that reality is subjective. We see the world from our own perspective, with our own filters (memories, emotions, choices). This would be the reason why humbleness is a virtue for some, and for others a flaw. In other words, just how old Nietzsche used to say, there are only perspectives, not absolute truths.
Sure, there are some objective norms, like the weight of a body. That’s a fixed thing, it doesn’t matter if we think an iPhone X is heavy or light.
Or the logo of Starbucks: we can’t be sure if that green is the same for all of us. This is the conventional reality, something that we, humans, agreed with each other.
Picasso used to say that anything you can imagine is real. And what is he trying to say? Well, I think that, when it comes to beliefs, ideas, and so on, reality is dictated exclusively by what we think about ourselves. No one can say that God isn’t real if I believe in him. Just like no one can say that he isn’t if they don’t believe his existence.
If we look at it this way, an idea isn’t real if no one believes in it. Think about it, why is money so valuable? Correctly, because we all believe in its value. Why do we have to sign a certificate in order to feel like we’re married? Because people believe in it. Why is Jesus real? Because people believe. And then we get to the collective belief where I have a little story.
What is the collective belief?
I will give you just a few examples, so you can get the idea.
Let’s think about the Peugeot company. It has cars, employees, and factories all over the world. What would happen if all the Peugeot cars would disappear? Would that company still exist? Of course, it would, it can produce new ones. What if the factories disappear? They can build new ones. But what if all those cars, employees and factories disappear. Would it still exist then? Yes, the logo and the name of the company stay unchanged. Legally, they exist. But what if the company changes its name and logo. The answer is yes. I know what you’re asking yourself. How can this company disappear? The answer is a simple one: when a judge will disband the legal personality of the brand.
Because we, the people, believe in the power fo the judge. The trick is the collective belief. We attributed to that ma, the judge, the power to create or disband companies with just a signature. Because we believe in him.
One more neat thing, the patriotism is based on the same principle. The USA is a country because all the people who live there believe in the American dream. And all countries have their own original myth.
What does all of this have to do with the death of my fictional characters?
Well, just as I said earlier, everything when it comes to reality is subjective. That’s why we’re all so different from each other.
That is why medics argue with people when they say that vaccines don’t cause autism, that’s why you argue with your grandparents that rock music is not satanic and that’s why we have to hear Trump saying that the global warming ISN’T real.
The magic thing that gives ideas real character, is, in the end, faith. If you do believe in that story, if you felt much more inspired by that fiction than in other real and superficial contexts, then it’s your right to believe. And no one can tell your heart that it is not.
I, for example, felt so strongly about the death of a character from The 100 that I consider him real. Or L from Death Note looked like a much more developed personality than my classmates. So, don’t pay attention to others, cry as much as you want after the many deaths of your characters from Game of Thrones.
If you believe in the story, it’s your right.
Also, speaking of beliefs and reality, you might wanna check this article out.
Author: Horea Emilian