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The story and all of literature

McKee gives a compelling statement when he said that the decline of the story is brought about by an increasing confusion of values in society. Whereas the writer and society before has agreed on the same values, today the writer faces the challenge of discovering new insight and presenting this to an increasingly agnostic world. McKee says that the erosion of values brought with it a corresponding erosion of the story. Why? Perhaps because the story is one vehicle by which we tell our everyday lives and what is important to us.

In this day and age, with the advancement of technology and with more things to do with the same finite twenty-four hours, it is easier to lose track of the things that we hold most dear, even to be just aware of the values that we cherish. I think that McKee is right in saying that the decline of the story finds its roots in the decline of our values. Literature is a recording about life and all its values and conflicts. It is about the great moral dilemmas, the battle of good and evil, the anxiety over death and the quest for immortality.

If the people no longer recognize what is important to them, then literature would no longer appeal to them because that is the stuff that literature is made of. the decline of the story is due to the people’s moral and ethical cynicism, relativism, and subjectivism — this postmodern world where everything is right and acceptable depending on where and how you look at it. No longer do the black and white values that permeated the soul clearly delineate what is good and bad. What then can we do about it? Do we simply stop writing the story since nobody reads it anyway?

I think that now is the time more than ever that we need the greatest pieces of literature ever written, and now is the time to write stories that reflect this age of antagonism and agnosticism. Perhaps the greatest challenge to face the literary world is this. To reach out to an increasingly uncaring and unfeeling world, and make the human again, not mere robots in pursuit of the next big dream, but creatures of emotions and reason who care for one and another and understand their humanity as well. McKee is right again, this is no small task. But is also difficult to believe that the people in this modern age are truly happy.

Happiness can be found not in material things or in relative understanding, but in the acceptance of one’s self and others. And that should be the main purpose of the story — to reflect the life of the agnostic postmodern man and make him realize what he is missing, and what he is all about. The story might be in the decline, but it is far from being dead. The story and all of literature presents the last strand of humanity, and in that, hope, and proof, of man’s redeeming qualities, showing not only a record of his downfall but also of his rise.

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