expectations in film and ficiton

i wonder where in life we got the impression that stories always have to resolve.

if there’s one thing i don’t like about reading books / watching films nowadays, it’s that we’re under the impression that things always have to be tied up into a neat tidy ending, complete with a bow on the top [for aesthetics, i guess].

i like things that don’t finish – particularly because that is how life seems.  why is it that we think that stories need a destination all of the time?

cormac mccarthy is one of my favorite authors for this style of story.

in many of his stories, we are offered a short glimpse into the life of the protagonist – somewhere in the middle of the story, sometimes – and are only allowed to spend a short amount of time traveling with this person.  the journey he [mccarthy] takes us on with this character is filled with twists and turns and at the end of our glimpse into the character’s life we are left with a satisfaction that this part of their [the character’s] story was told and there is nothing more that needs to be said at this point in time.

that’s not to say that more can’t happen to the protagonist – it’s just that it doesn’t need to be said because it isn’t important to the story.

why do we always expect resolution?

traveling mercies,


One thought on “expectations in film and ficiton

  1. Honestly, I believe that we expect resolution because the Lord has set eternity in the hearts of man. When bad things happen to us, when bad people prosper, when loved ones die, all of these things cause our hearts to cry out for resolution. Those who don’t know God would say it is just an evil twist of fate, but I am utterly convinced that our hearts cry for resolution because THERE WILL BE RESOLUTION. Our tears will be wiped away, our deeds will be judged, and those who know the Lord will be with Him for all eternity.I love that movies and books and our hearts all point to the human desire for resolution. But I also love a good story that doesn’t tie everything up right away, rather letting us suffer through the agony and unknowingness for a while. That is true to life, I think, yet I am glad that there really will be resolution at the end of all things.

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