In Defence of Fantasy: Childsplay or of the Superior?

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Often discounted for being ‘purely for children’, the fantasy genres are ignored or laughed at by critics and not taken seriously. This is a disappointing view of fantasy, for the exact thing that makes it childish is what makes it superior to other genres.

One of the most successful things a book can be is that it is enjoyed and accessible to a great deal of people, and can bring a huge amount of joy to a vast audience. No other genre can do that as successfully as the fantasy genres can, as is evident from some of the biggest names that come from it.

Books that are enjoyed by children and are still idolised as adults are something truly special. Despite its tumultuous forthcomings, the Harry Potter series of books was massively successful, with its own films and the original novels being enjoyed by children and adults alike. Even many years after their origins, there are still people avidly celebrating the stories with dedicated groups, many cultural spin-offs, and even a popular sport based on the stories. Despite being dragged for quite a few miles recently, even a somewhat controversial version of fantasy is hugely successful.

But there are of course other examples. TheĀ Lord of the Rings trilogy is another favourite, especially with adults. The extended editions of the films are ridiculously long, but people still watch and rewatch them just because they are filled with such wondrous content. The books contain all sorts of magic and fantastical settings, with a big focus on exploring power, loyalty, and courage. These are all key themes that are explored in other genres and praised, yet in fantasy they are often ignored due the use of imagination being a crutch to fall back on.

Fantasy is also a backbone to most other genres. When telling the stark realities would result in authors getting in trouble, magical lands, race dynamic and epic stories would be created as allegory for what people would be experiencing in real life. These political commentaries throughout the genre would be a pathway for others to follow suit, and allow them to express themselves in the same way, just without the use of magic. Even mystery novels use that hint of magic within them, as often those same mysteries would be pinned on magic before the climax of its action.

To call fantasy childsplay is ludicrous, especially with the obvious success of the genre and its clear influences on others. There is nothing childish about visiting somewhere fantastical using a book page as a ticket, and the fact that it can be shared with others regardless of age is one of the reasons why it actually surpasses other genres, and sits nicely at the top of every bookcase.

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A philosophy student with a penchant for uncertain puns

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