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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Ideas

Why fiction is good for you

The beautiful lies of novels, movies, and TV stories have surprisingly powerful effects — and may even help make society tick

Is fiction good for us? We spend huge chunks of our lives immersed in novels, films, TV shows, and other forms of fiction. Some see this as a positive thing, arguing that made-up stories cultivate our mental and moral development. But others have argued that fiction is mentally and ethically corrosive. It’s an ancient question: Does fiction build the morality of individuals and societies, or does it break it down?

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