The Instigator
BarbieGirl
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
arrivaltime
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

All fiction is based on experiences of the author and therefore it may be partially fact.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2007 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,269 times Debate No: 960
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (10)

 

BarbieGirl

Pro

All fiction is based on experiences of the author and therefore it may be partially fact.
Let us begin by returning hundreds of thousands of years to the times of the cavemen, who drew on cave walls their day to day life. If you study these carvings most of the time they depict men with spears chasing what appear to be wooly mammoths or some other type of animal.
If you study some of the classics for example Persuasion by Jane Austen. In the beginning of her novel she depicts how a friend of the family persuades the heroine to break of her engagement to a captain. Austen used sailors in her novels frequently due to 2 of her brothers being of this occupation. Several warm hearted families are also depicted in her novel, contrasting favorably with Anne's own family, in which she is overlooked by her vain and rank-proud Baronet father and her cold and selfish elder sister. She is using what she knows (Fact) to write the fiction. Persuasion was also the most romantic of Jane Austen's many novels and thus the one which has given rise to the most speculation about her own affairs of the heart. Jane Austen also puts her own location preferences into the novel as the heroine likes the seaside town of Lyme but not that of Bath. Also, the way morals are presented not only in persuasion but also in her other novels such as Pride and Prejudice is factual to the times. For example, the way families all wanted their daughter(s) to marry the rich high society aristocrats. And also the asking of fathers permission to marry their daughters.
Another author who began several books due to factual events is the renowned writer, Roald Dahl. While he attended Repton Public School For Boys, he and his peers would be asked by cadbury to sample several chocolate bars an critique them. This led to the beginning of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory due to Dahl dreaming of working in a chocolate factories inventory. If cadbury hadnt asked the boys to sample their chocolates, who Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ever have been written? I bet you didn't know either that the film "Gremlins" Was based on one of Dahl's stories of how gremlins sabotaged his plane. If he had not been in the RAF would this story ever have been written? It was in his later years that he wrote Matilda, in which the headmistress is a beast perhaps based upon Dahl's experiences as a child, being beaten and punished by many head masters.
The third great author i refur to is possibly the most famous of all: Charles Dickens. To begin with, it was while in a workhouse that it is believed dickens found the compassion he showed in his literature such as Oliver Twist, and perhaps the personal experiences he encountered such as those dipicted in his novels. Many characters in his novels were also based upon his younger sister, mary for example Rose Maylie (Oliver Twist) and Agnes Wickfield (David Copperfield). All of Dickens' novels were based upon the squalour of the times and also his experinces and family.
All fiction is based on experiences of the author and therefore it may be partially fact.
arrivaltime

Con

I do agree that SOME fiction is based on the author's experiences, but I do not agree that ALL fiction is based on experience.

I will use your Jane Austen example to show you how a work of fiction is not purely based on experiences of the author.

Jane Austen books were based half on experience, and half on pure fantasy that had absolutely nothing to do with experience.

Common Characters:

1. The main character who is witty, passionate, and usually a little foolish.
In Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth
In Sense and Sensibility: Marianne
In Northanger Abbey: Catherine
In Emma: Emma
In Persuasion: Anne
In Mansfield Park: Fanny

These characters are very much like Jane Austen herself.

2. The Good Friend or Sister who is more realistic
In Pride and Prejudice: Jane
In Sense and Sensibility: Elinor
In Emma: Mrs. Weston / Taylor

These are based on Jane Austen's sister Cassandra, especially Elinor and Jane.

3. The man who the main character almost falls in love with until he betrays her trust
In Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Wickham
In Sense and Sensibility: Willoughby
In Emma: Frank Churchill

These characters are based probably on Tom Lefroy, who Austen had a short friendship with. There was a little flirting but no evidence of anything else, though she cried when he was removed from her company.

4. The bumbling idiot who wants to marry the heroine despite having nothing in common
In Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Collins
In Northanger Abbey: Mr. Thorpe
In Emma: Mr. Elton
In Persuasion: I don't recall his name, but the arrogant one!
In Mansfield Park: Henry

While these characters are all based on Jane Austen's experiences, they are not fact. The activities these people take part in are not fact, especially as relates to the upper class scenes in Pride and Prejudice or the entirety of Emma. Jane Austen had very little knowledge of how the upper class behaved, so her scenes relating to it could not be based on experience.

5. The Perfect Match for the heroine and sometimes her sister/friend
In Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley
In Sense and Sensibility: Colonel Brandon and Edward F
In Northanger Abbey: Henry Tilney
In Emma: Mr. Knightley, Mr. Weston, Mr. Farm guy (why can I not remember names!)
In Persuasion: Capt. Wentworth
In Mansfield Park: Edmund

ETC: Annoying mother figures and loving father figures

Jane Austen never experienced true love. She died in her forties. She could not know how these women felt, and so the second half of most of her books are not at all based on experience.

You say that Jane Austen put her heroine in the city of her preference based on experience, and that is why she is not at Bath; yet Catherine loves Bath in Northanger Abbey.

Jane Austen did not know of cold families, which I believe you might have hinted at. Her father was loving, her mother was kind, and she and her siblings had a close relationship. The situation Fanny (Mansfield Park), Anne (Persuasion), Marianne and Elinor (Sense and Sensibility) are in would have been totally foreign to Jane Austen, as would the quiet home life of Emma.

You also say that Jane Austen wrote about factual moral or at least societal manners, so it would follow that she would know of these matters from experience. Yet Jane Austen's mother did not force her or give her trouble when she turned down the only proposal she received in her late 20s from Biggs-Wither, and so she did not experience the high pressures that Elizabeth Bennet's family did- they did not have a male heir, which was why they had so much pressure on them. Jane Austen was the sister of many boys, so her family did not have to worry.

As I have shown, Jane Austen did in fact NOT write from personal experience but from the need to live vicariously through her writing, so it follows that all fiction is not based on experience and is therefore not always fact. Also, is "fact" the word you wish to use? I would agree with "autobiographical" possibly but never fact. Jane Austen does not once tell a story of fact.

In response to your Roald Dahl arguments, I would agree that inspiration comes from experience but still not all fiction and I do not believe it leads to any facts-- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is purely fiction, with no bit of fact in it though it may refer to a moment similar to one in Roald Dahl's life.
Debate Round No. 1
BarbieGirl

Pro

Your arguement i that Jane Austen did not write from personal experience, however you note how many of the main characters and others close tothe main character were indeed very like those of the people around her at the time. Those people where facts due to their existence, they were real. And so if Austen had the people she knew at the time in her mind while creating her characters, then those people becamethe characters. I also note how i did not say that the stories were fact, mereily based on factual experiences of the author and the people they knew, therefore becoming partially factual themselves.
I would imagine that if you tried to write a story of complete fition now yu would bring into it characters based on friend or family. Or blue aliens with speckled flakes - but is that truely fiction, because blue is a real colour and speckled flakes an e foun on lizards or snakes. Therefore how can that possibly be fiction?
arrivaltime

Con

I wouldn't say that is experience though. Jane Austen did not experience any Mr. Darcy-like people in her life, and she also didn't experience her own marriage or her sisters.

I agree that we never make anything completely up however I disagree with the statement "All fiction is based on experiences of the author and therefore it may be partially fact".

A lot of fiction is inspired by real life experiences of the author and therefore it may be somewhat autobiographical.

Jane Austen's characters were not all based on experiences, they were inspired by people in her life. None of her books were fact, they were somewhat autobiographical.

But then if you're arguing that Jane Austen correctly describes the color of the sky and grass and that the colors she discusses and other small information like the fact that grass exists makes her books partially fact, I would have to agree.
Debate Round No. 2
BarbieGirl

Pro

BarbieGirl forfeited this round.
arrivaltime

Con

My arguments stand. Yep. K. Typing to type enough. Haven't typed enough. Lalala. Still typing. Ha. H
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Golf_Digest 9 years ago
Golf_Digest
guys i got cake its delicious mmm cake
Posted by Scyrone 9 years ago
Scyrone
Well, for one, you can't change your thesis mid-debate.

Two, Harry Potter? Star Wars? Star Trek? They all have books. All movies are written scripts before production.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
Hence my entire argument of changing "All fiction is based on experiences of the author and therefore it may be partially fact" to "A lot of fiction is inspired by real life experiences of the author and therefore it may be somewhat autobiographical."
Posted by Luigi_Umberto 9 years ago
Luigi_Umberto
One thing: Tim Obrien, and his war stories they are ALL fiction but entirely based on his experience and opinion in the Vietnam War, I cannot find any better example than that
Posted by BarbieGirl 9 years ago
BarbieGirl
however, the author of sta trek wrote after hearing of alien encounters perhaps? and therefore based on things known and perhaps experienced by the author. the randomness of the stoires is merely a plot developed by a computer and then the charaters from the main stories being subststuted in.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
This reminds me of a story.

Gleebok the Yoglenist fell down in the pit died.

Now, this work of fiction is not based on my experience of mine. But you could argue that I've heard of pits or falling down is a common theme in life, or that death is a universal human theme... Really, one would need to write a work of fiction which doesn't even make any sense in order to disprove this hypothesis. As with most hypotheses of literary criticism you are going to be right, with anything you say here. Most literary criticism is unfalsifiable. However, lets try this work of fiction:

Wasktial the Qwuantis jestifulsed a yogardiaria's Uo.

That is based on absolutely none of my experiences? Or is it?

Alternatively:
http://www.firsttvdrama.com...

Randomly generates plots for Star Trek: Voyager. Certainly these fiction plots aren't based on experience.
Posted by Toored 9 years ago
Toored
You make an interesting point. Arthur Conan Doyle attended medical school which is partially what made Dr. Watson so credible. I also like H.G. Wells and Anthony Trollope, so many great British authors.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
I love Jane Austen and am glad you used her as an argument :x she is the perfect example
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Vote Placed by BarbieGirl 9 years ago
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