Monday, December 1, 2014

The Power of Honesty in Representing Cultural Experience

I believe that representing LDS experience through fiction is very valuable.  There are so many things that can be shared through the mind of a fictional character in a fictional setting and situation that can’t be shared (or can’t be shared very easily) through nonfiction.

For example, it is very difficult to represent the negative aspects of a culture through one’s own personal writing or speaking.  Often the negative things in life get pushed aside and those involved try to ignore them.  I believe this is alarming because I believe that many people could have a legitimate concern and yet be embarrassed to express their concern for fear of being too negative or being against the norm.  This could be bad, in my opinion, because this could mean that there are problems in society that are not addressed.

In Doug Thayer’s novel “Will Wonders Never Cease”, Thayer does an excellent job of being honest.  His main character and protagonist, Kyle, is a young teenager who has plenty of ideas about the world he lives in.  Some of these ideas are very negative.  However negative these ideas can be, however, I really enjoyed reading some of them.  I was able to relate with Kyle very well, since I have also had similar ideas and opinions in my life.  Thayer was able to address some very sticky issues that I don’t think he would have been able to address without using fictional writing.  Had he simply been writing or speaking some of these ideas or concerns from his own point of view, I think it would be very likely that he would be looked down on and his ideas would be rejected.

I for one connected very well with Thayer’s main protagonist Kyle, and I am a fan of being honest in fictional writing.


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. By using fictional writing, Thayer was able to say things I don't think he could have said coming from first-person narratives. It's interesting that our culture doesn't want to hear the negative (especially when it comes to beliefs), though I think we all have negative thoughts and aspects of our lives.

  2. I agree that Thayer made Kyle a very relatable character for a lot of LDS youth. Although I didn't connect with him, I had quite a few friends that could strongly relate to his character and the ideals that Kyle has placed in his life.