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Ways Literature Can Influence the Audience

One influential pair of works presented in class is Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the form of play-script and the television series. The main character of Fleabag is unquestionably flawed; she went through much personal trauma, continually doubts herself and struggles with finding self-value. However, there are various positive traits incorporated in her character, including humor, confidence, and kindness. One of the essential aspects of characters in Fleabag is that they are not one-dimensional. The protagonist can be described as conflictual, “Mum died three years ago. She had a double mastectomy but never really recovered. It was particularly hard because she had amazing boobs.” (Waller-Bridge 71). Her cynicism, combined with empathy, is what made me resonate with both the play and the television series.

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Fleabag was able to reach out to me on multiple levels. The nameless protagonist makes the audience experience emotions by going through intriguing situations with her. The writer does a great job of creating a character that feels close to a reader. The show also develops the feeling of connectedness, as the main character looks into the camera and discusses various situations with the audience. Therefore, the excellently designed impression of dialogue establishes the sense of friendship between the character and the audience.

As a student, I am relieved to see characters that are not perfect, as academia is associated with the constant need for excellence. In the university, you are continuously evaluated as a student, which directly affects your self-perception, motivation, and confidence. The book teaches a valuable lesson that it is acceptable to be imperfect, and it is valid to experience different emotions. One of the book’s important messages can be found when the main character is making a shoes-analogy, “I want to be that person. She points to really cool shoes. I have been that person. She points at awful shoes” (Waller-Bridge 80). However, she does not stop her thoughts and finishes with, “But most of the time I am that person. She points to some boring shoes” (Waller-Bridge 80). Thus, as both a student and a human being, I can especially relate to this idea, most of the time we are some boring shoes, which is completely fine.

Furthermore, the stories captured in various forms of literature and cinematography are designed with an intention to amaze and captivate the audience. Moreover, different narratives provide people with an opportunity to feel what the characters are going through. Thus, providing an emotional account of unique personalities, which can resonate with some audiences better than with others. Therefore, a great novel or film can move people’s sentiments and affect their lives in unexpected ways. Although the literature has a unique factor in entertaining its readers, the stories can also bring people relief from routine by engaging them in often-unbelievable adventures. Engaging with art is extremely important to continually remind oneself of the beauty in the world, or the fact that it is acceptable to go through hard times and be imperfect. Various works of art can convey different messages; therefore, we can choose books and films based on the emotions we want to experience. Thus, literature, cinematography, and other forms of art can influence the audience in different ways. Stories can inspire, comfort, and entertain, which is essential during dark and unsettling times.

Work Cited

Waller-Bridge, Phoebe. Fleabag: The Scriptures. Random House Publishing Group, 2019.

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