The purpose of storytelling

Why do we tell stories?  Some thoughts we’ve amassed so far, in no particular order:

  • To achieve immortality, of deeds and for the storyteller
  • To explain otherwise senseless phenomena
  • To entertain/educate
  • To moralize/terrify (I told you not to step off the path, Insert-Fairytale-Heroine-Here)
  • To beta test new versions of reality (I like this one!  Except I write apocalyptic scenarios.  Oh well.)
  • To exorcise the imagination
  • To land a movie deal

I suppose there are as many reasons to tell stories as there are storytellers.  For all my aspirations to philosophizin’ I tend to shy away from self-reflection.  I don’t know why I write, really.  Why do you?


3 thoughts on “The purpose of storytelling

  1. To me Robert Heinlen created entire plots, worlds, and characters just to explain and dissect various forms of government and society. At least, that’s my impression of his books. Also, after taking a folklore and fairytale class, I’m inclined to believe all reasoning traces back #4 … especially because of how many folktales and fairy tales were created simultaneously, in similar forms, in different cultures and countries.

  2. Oh God, if blogs are the new morality fairy tale, what does that say about cats? (My research isn’t peer reviewed, but cats seem to figure in approx. 67.3% of blog posts. 67.3000000000001% as of this posting.)

  3. Pingback: Bookmarks about Storytelling


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