Don’t ditch fiction

Lindsay Docken, Grade 11

Dear Editor,
We are facing a serious dilemma: the egregious lack of fiction in school. I could discuss the strong positive correlation between those who avidly read fiction and the number of phrases and words—even sentence structure- picked up as one reads or that that fiction novels have been scientifically shown to teach life lessons, empathy and compassion. But let’s be honest, students don’t care. Instead, many claim that the antiquated language is too difficult to decipher or that tasks like finding allusions in “Lord of the Flies” are pointless.
So why should students care that schools across the country have begun to shift their focus onto nonfiction novels? One simple reason: This. Does. Matter. Within the pages of a book, one can see themselves inhabiting a myriad of places across time and space which broaden their views of the world. Unable to be swayed by the zeitgeist of society, a novel can even tell the hard-hitting truths no one wants to hear, presenting them as a tolerable tale imparting a powerful message. In the end, we need fiction—not because teachers love dissecting Holden Caulfield, but because fiction is a gate to another world.