Why Do We Enjoy The Action/Violence in Stories?

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All right, let’s face it.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all enjoy watching a well-choreographed fight scene.  It’s impressive to us.  It’s artsy.  It might even be “beautifully” done.

Let’s not forget that it’s exciting…it’s attractive…and we can even find ourselves “getting into it”, throwing punches at bad guys and delivering the final blow with the hero or heroine.

Does it ever bother you that we are like this?

Think about it.

I’ll never forget the time I was watching the Hunger Games in theaters, back in 2011.  It was the scene where Clove gets killed by Thresh.  Thresh takes Clove and slams her against the wall of the Cornucopia until she’s dead…and everyone in the audience cheers.

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I was honestly bothered by this.  Who cares that Clove was about to kill Katniss?  Who cares that Clove was definitely messed up?  We’re still talking about one human killing another (Thresh killing clove).  Why does this merit a cheer?

I don’t think cheering is the response that Collins (author of the Hunger Games) wanted.

Why are we obsessed with violence?  Why do we enjoy it, laugh at it, or think that it’s cool?

Is there some deeper meaning behind our desires?

Not to get too philosophical, but I personally believe that humanity has a fallen nature.  It’s not hard to see evidence of this.  That being said, I believe that we formerly had a pure, good nature before the Fall of Humanity (yes, I’m talking about Adam and Eve).

Thus, I’m wondering, does our desire for battle, our love of violence and action, come from our fallen nature?  Or the original human nature God gave us before the Fall?

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John Hedekira, the main character of Elithius…

These are questions that the characters in my book struggle with.  Is there a right or wrong reason to fight?  What should your intention be while fighting?  What should your disposition be?  Angry?  Calm?  Indifferent?  Passionate?

What do you think?  Are you bothered by how “into” action and violence our culture is?  Do you see this in yourself?  Is it a good thing or bad thing?


Interested in buying Elithius, my fantasy novel?  For a limited time only, Elithius is 99 cents as an eBook here.  Don’t miss out.

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8 thoughts on “Why Do We Enjoy The Action/Violence in Stories?”

  1. It’s definitely an interesting thing to think about. Then there’s also fighting sports and betting. I’m not into those sorts of things but I do get excited during a fight scene in a book or movie. I guess it’s the adrenaline, along with the fear for the hero…? I don’t know :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’m not really sure either! But I feel like it’s something to pay attention to or “keep an eye on”. It would be sad if the stories we love and enjoy were actually leading us to have some twisted appreciation for violence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, this is certainly an interesting food for thought. I won’t deny that I don’t get pumped up watching a fight scene (or reading one tho, I find it more exciting when I’m seeing the action unfold before my eyes?) Gosh, I remember when I watched this scene in Sword Art Online and I’m just like “YAAAS Kirito! Jab him! Jab him!”
    And I don’t see myself as a violent person… So yeah, this does make you think.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I kind of think that as long as there is a clear distinction between into violence in stories and into violence in reality, there’s no issue. The violence in stories is there to entertain, to rasie the tension or stakes, or to raise moral questions. It serves a valuable purpose as part of the story. That said, violence in the real world mostly just hurts so hopefully we can work on avoiding that but very little in human history would lead me to believe that it will happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, but it still bothers me that we find violence so entertaining. I believe that we become desensitized to violence and then, in the real world, people think that violence is an acceptable answer to their problems.

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      1. I kind of disagree with the argument that watching violence in entertainment (or even participating in video games) desensitises us to real world pain. For some people that might be the case, but for others violence in real life is completely seperate from violence in a story.
        People becoming desensitised to violence is probably more related to a break down in social values or empathy for others caused by the ‘me’ culture we have created.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can see that. I’m just expressing what I believe I’m seeing in others and, in fact, what I see in myself. I like the last thing you said, I agree with that.

        Liked by 1 person

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