Not This Again Published September 30, 2022 by swankivy <–Previous Comic Next Comic–> <–Previous Comic Next Comic–> So are writers overusing these bits or do we all just read too much? It’s them. Definitely them.
This isn’t always books, but I’ve found characters talking about an event that’s more interesting than the current story is frustrating. Red Dead Redemption 2 starts the game after a heist gone wrong. Problem is, you never seen any of the heist in game so it’s just a noodle incident that keeps getting referenced.
So many great works were “It was all a dream”. Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” (and “Christiana”), “Pilgrim’s Regress” by C. S. Lewis, etc.
When it’s not *all* a dream, dreams are very effective foreshadowing. The character’s dream gives hints that set the mood – like a change in the musical score of a film. (Love the theme from “Jaws” before the big fish bites.)
Tolkien gives a definition of “fairy story” which includes (among other points) “it’s not a fairy story if it was all a dream”. A fairy story is where a fantastic world intersects the ordinary world. The fantastic world is real, but doesn’t often get in your face. Negative One meets that standard of a fairy story. The Narnia stories by C. S. Lewis meet that standard – it was a real parallel world (among many).
The Wizard of Oz meets that standard – in the original book. The Land of Oz is a real place, and only magic keeps them new fangled aeroplanes from discovering it.
In the movie of course, the ending makes it all a dream – at which point it is no longer a fairy story.