Morals & Narratives

The best way to get the point across is to write it down, whether it is an email, a letter, or a diary page. Authors take full advantage of this with their descriptive language, hiding words of meaning in a story for people to better understand their views.

For example, last week’s Quill Inker’s blog post was a narrative I had written about warfare. I have never been a fan of war, and it’s ironic that I’ve written so many stories about it. Never would I condone warfare, and I would hate to see another world war for myself or the future generations of my family and friends, particularly with technology just adding to the horrid possibilities. It is why, in the narrative I wrote, that I wanted people to be afraid of this happening, afraid of people getting hurt.

It is made clear towards the end of the story, when the reader is already experiencing an emotional response for the mother listening to the warfare in her home, bringing a bigger, moral question to mind – why?

Propaganda through media hits home with this idea that the written word is more powerful than a film or cartoon. Satirical satire exists in an entertaining but concerned matter, but only work in the short term. Written words allow people to evoke an emotional response which is much more personal than seeing images move on the ‘big screen’. It is speeches which rallied people together, written in a personal fashion, to bring forward ideals that may or may not better a country. For example, a positive outcome could be Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech which helped surge the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. On the other hand, we have Adolf Hitler, who through the power of words and speech convinced a nation to warp their morals and idea of nationalism, inevitably committing one of the most horrific yet greatest acts of genocide in history (once again, I am no fan of Hitler, please do not be offended by my terminology).

Recently, words have become a bit more politically manipulated to push forward ideals – the term ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ now has two different meanings due to ‘gender identity’. What I now see as ‘sex’ is the biology of a human, whereas ‘gender’ is a bit more flexible with how one ‘identifies’. You cannot change the sex without medical procedure and lots of hormones, but you can change gender when you see fit. It is through this example that we can assume that morals have the power to change words.

Each person has different morals, that is true. Narratives allow each individual to express these in a non-threatening environment – sure, critics and audiences may not agree, but the author got their word out to plant the seeds that may show readers a new perspective to explore. For one, 24/7 (2001) by Jim Brown is one of my favourite childhood reads (albeit it is not targeted for children at all). It was the first time I was ever exposed to men as a threat rather than just a romantic option for me to consider. There were worse things than death, and I learnt that people don’t always fight to survive but hurry to get the one thing they were denied, sometimes at the cost of others. Jim Brown made me realise that humans are far more corrupted than what usual childhood books and movies show. Sure, we had Disney villains, but nothing hits you as hard as reading the characters panic and struggle.

Therefore, morals and narratives are stuck in a loop. Morals not only can change the terminology of certain words as we move forward with time and understanding, but narratives can also portray the true meaning of an individual’s morals.

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