In my recent discussion about the power of literature with my friends, we've stumbled onto a rather interesting topic that I would like to share with all of you, and more importantly, get some feedback and opinions that you might have about it.
The main topic is the following question, "are emotions learned, or inherent in the human being?" I'd like to bring this down even lower, and specifically talk about love.
At this moment, I wont argue for one or the other, but will throw out some ideas about it - mainly from a story telling perspective, this includes all forms such as novels, poetry, film, music, etc.
It has been said that we would not know we were in love if we had not read novels or been introduced to it in some other form of story telling. A story is a way of doing and showing things with words; it makes something take place in the real world: it can, for example, suggest methods of selfhood or ways of behaving that are then imitated in our real world. So, if we agree that stories “create” instead of “reveal” feelings and emotions, then love is learned and created by them. We need stories to “coach” us how to feel.
Think about it; I’m sure all of us have been introduced to stories and fairytales in our childhoods that showed love and other feelings. Would we know how to experience these feelings without stories? Would nurturing by our mothers and fathers be enough?