I would like to thank everyone who held on to their patience with Blogger and was able to post their response to my previous question. If you missed the question I posed, please feel free to read it and come back here to read my own answer.
It's been several days of since my last post. It has given me ample time to read everyone's responses, as well as get over some sickness going around our house. Each response is greatly valued. I only wish more had posted. But, hey, I've got a general consensus! And now, I think I really have been enlightened.
As with many readers, I read to escape the problems of every day life. I always have. I was an only child growing up in a military family. Moving around often was inevitable. I do not know the meaning of having a friend in one place more than a couple of years. I was a very lonely child. Reading was my escape. The characters were my friends. Now, as an adult, I still read for pleasure. I read to escape my world of worry, pain, and suffering.
Our lives, no matter who we are, have varying degrees of trouble we all wish we could escape. Yes, life is not fair. Life doesn't care. And life doesn't always have a happy ending. Our stories we read (or create) should offer a spark of hope, no matter how tiny. Because without hope, what's the point in life? Right?!
*SPOILER ALERT* in case anyone hasn't watched these movies I am about to talk about (Skyline and Buried). If you haven't seen them yet, and don't want to have them spoiled, don't read any further. But I feel I am pretty safe since both these movies I am talking about are rather old, or at least have been out for a while.
I recently watched the movie, Skyline. Essentially, it was the end of our world. Humans were being harvested by aliens. The two main characters--male and female--were struggling to escape. Their outlook was dismal at best. In the end, the human race seems to have been wiped off the face of the Earth. Despite this fact, there was a glimmer of hope when both main characters succumb to their inevitable end and get sucked up into the alien mother ship to be harvested like the rest. The male main character's brain is harvested and put into an alien creature. With a love so great for his family, the male main character overcomes the alien mentality, seeks out his beloved and lets her know his brain is still there before the female main character is harvested.
Now, the other movie I watched a few months back, called Buried, well, that was a real downer! The main character is a government contractor who has been taken and buried in a coffin somewhere in the Iraqi desert. He only has a lighter and a cell phone. It is a story about his last few hours. The whole time you watch this movie you are rooting for him to be found, and in the end, when it looks like he will be dug up in time, and you almost breath a sigh of relief...well, you get the idea.
I would not recommend either of these movies, by the way. However, one offered a spark of hope in the face of armageddon while the other offered hope the entire way through and ended on a crushing note. The point is, hope in any form is an integral part of every story.
I think I am remembering a few of my High School English class mandatory readings. If anyone has ever read Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, or any number I can't remember right off the top of my head. But there was a time it seems, where dismal, somber, and hopeless had their place. But, those may have easily been published after the author had several published works. Maybe it wasn't their best work, but eventually academia made it so. Who knows. So, I will just add this to my collection of works I've written. It may go in my pile never to be seen or heard from again. Or I may just revamp it completely and make it a more hopeful story. One never knows...