Reading Response for 10-11

Scott Russell Sanders, “The Most Human Art: Ten Reasons Why We’ll Always Need a Good Story” (p. 448)

Make sure to post your idea for a paper if you haven’t done so already. If you have posted an idea, then re-check the page for my comments and suggestions.


35 thoughts on “Reading Response for 10-11

  1. Does every story has its own mystery/meaning to our future?
    Why did he include so many artists and writers’ quotes in his essay?
    I like his third point “stories help us to see through the eyes of other people.”
    Michelle Wu

  2. Renee Lemire
    Why does he mention that his list of why we need good stories overlaps the list of Carol Bly? He made his own list, why does he have to compare it to another persons list?

    Why does, at the end, mention a physicist perspective on the universe instead of a famous writer like Shakespeare or Virginia Wolf etc.?

    I like the simile Sanders used about how “stories gather experience into shapes we can hold and pass through time. much the way DNA molecules in our cells record genetic discoveries and pass them on.” I did not understand how the experience can be truly passed on, but this now made it much more transparent.

  3. Sanders says that he thinks that we as humans have been telling each other stories for as long as we have been humans and had language. What about the drawings on the ancient cave walls in places like France (Cave of Chauvet)?
    Throughout the essay, Sanders references books and authors; can’t visuals (photos, paintings, movies/TV, etc), affect people in the listed ways as well?
    I enjoyed this essay; it’s relatable (to me, at least) and I have experienced pretty much all of the effects of stories across several mediums.
    -Becky B.

  4. Is there danger in every story or is that mainly up to the reader’s interpretation?
    What seems to be the most important reason why our society needs stories or storytelling?
    I liked that Sanders used many examples throughout the essay to back up the points he made.

  5. Why does he constantly make references to Native American living (i.e. buffalo, arrow heads, etc.)?

    Are the works/people he quotes really well known? Or am I just uncultured?

    The point he makes about “Don Quixote” uniting two people is played out in the TV series “Newsroom” when Will and Mac constantly reference the novel, thus bringing them closer.

  6. How could the same story cause the greatest bond and the worst divide?
    How do stories convince us in what to do by educating our desires?
    I like Sander’s ninth point on how stories teach us to be human. A lot of what I have learned I have acquired through stories.

  7. Why does the author “wrestle with despair” so often?

    Why does the author think stories help us deal with suffering, loss and death?

    I like how the author makes us think when he says, “We have been telling stories to one another for a long time, perhaps for as long as we have been using language.”

    -Christie Gleason

  8. How could reading books about travel have changed the authors mind instead of staying near home?

    Why is escaping mentally important for people?

    I like how she said we truly want stories to end well with “happily ever after,” it shows how we really can be hopeful people.

  9. Does all stories we read have an important meaning to it ?

    A good story can help people escape the problems they having .

    What was the author purpose for writing this ?

  10. Will all the readings we do forecast our future assignments in the class?

    What is the reason behind Sanders referring to God in the reading?

    I liked how Sanders gave specific examples of stories like “Don Quixote” and “Huckleberry Finn.”

  11. How are stories able to educate our desires so well?

    Why does our society need stories so much? What’s the one reason that is considered most important?

    I like that the author says they are at peace being home and with their family. I completely agree with this.

  12. Andrew Miller

    Could we have progressed as a species without stories?

    Why does the author make religious references throughout the text?

    I’m trying to imagine a world without any stories whatsoever, and I cannot. I think we need stories to reassure us of the past.

  13. What piece of history are people sharing by reading “Don Quixote”?

    In the fifth power of stories, how would one exactly educate their desires?

    I like how in the end he called the people who pretend to comprehend a lunatic or a liar.

  14. How do you think stories have taught us through out our lives?
    Do you think that every story has an underlying story?
    Stories are a part of our history and have been passed through by generations, so I think that a lot of the stories we hear now are altered.

  15. Are the strongest bonds really formed by sacred stories?

    How can the same story unite and divide people?

    I like how the author describes so many different ways stories can be powerful.

  16. Do you agree that the closest way for humans to look through each others eyes is through reading each others stories?

    Do you believe the author’s thought that laughter can defy misery?

    I have to say that I never would have thought of these reasons before reading this story. Really got me thinking deeper as a reader.

    Louie Copley

  17. Sanders says that stories give us a certain feeling, depending on the story, and that we learn how to act through that. What happens when not everyone gets the same message from a story?

    If someone is never exposed to stories that stir up certain emotions, will that someone never truly relate to that emotion because they only have their own experiences with that emotion?

    This story is an interesting view of the way we relate to each other by having read stories in common, and how even though we may not know the person that has also read the story, you can relate to them because you now have something in common with each other.

  18. What would life be like if stories were never told?
    Does anyone believe that stories can really change you as a person?
    I really liked how the author said stories connect us to other things that we might not normally be able to experience and they let us walk in other’s shoes.
    Lauren Anthony

  19. What would happen if someone grew up without stories?
    What stories did Sanders read growing up?
    This personal essay showed me how vital stories are in our society.

  20. Is literature really “a way to escape the confines of language”?

    Is there less of a connection when the teller is not speaking directly to the listener, such as through a book or screen?

    I like how the author talks about antidotes. It connects to the binaries that we can use when writing the analysis paper.

  21. Did these affects of stories kind of diminish since there isn’t much face to face story telling these days?

    Will the idea of true story telling ever return to it’s original glory?

    This essay kind of put into words why I’ve always loved a good narrative.

    Le’otis Boswell-Johnson

  22. Does the fourth action of stories occur as often as it should?

    Is the seventh power of stories even important, relevant to the other nine?

    I see how the other 9 make more immediate results for us to understand, but I feel an argument could be made for the seventh power to be one of the more significant powers of stories. Mostly because it allows us to reflect on any time period and learn from past experiences, mistakes, and even glories.

  23. In this modern age can stories be in the form of videos?

    What is a bigger influence on us, the people we hang around or the stories that read?

    I would definitely agree that stories make us human but i would argue that our interactions with other humans is more important than the stories that we are exposed to.
    Timmy Corrigan

  24. Do these powers of stories apply to all cultures and races?

    Are all these powers equally important?

    I love the diction in this reading, it is really beautiful and inspiring and makes me want to go back and read my favorite books again.

  25. Is his second point, “stories create community,” a positive thing or a negative thing?

    How do we know which stories to listen to and which ones to ignore?

    I like his last point that when we learn more about our universe, we see that we actually know very little.

  26. Do you think that “the strongest bonds are formed by sacred stories?”
    Do you think a story is capable of changing a person’s behavior?
    I really liked the metaphor of turning experiences into stories much like the creation of DNA.

  27. Are readers changing the way they act to turn out more like characters in stories?
    The author says we tell stories to pass on hope, but what about the horror stories we read? Those clearly don’t pass on much hope.
    I appreciate how the author included music as a form language and story telling. Not many people actually understand the stories written in classical music anymore.
    ~Kaitlyn Klingberg

  28. What is the reason that a story can cause unity but can also rip people apart?
    Why does the author mention native american themes often?
    I love listening to story telling.

  29. What makes someone a wizard of storytelling?

    Sanders says that we can learn from tales and stories but what if they are made up or an exaggeration of the truth?

    I felt that the first 5 reasons were really good because i can see how they do happen in the real world due to stories that are pass down.

  30. What if we learn the wrong things from a really good story?
    Do you think the author is native american?
    I agree with the author that stories can be extremely powerful and influence people’s decisions.

  31. Do you think racism stories can bond races?

    Why does he think story telling will solve your problems?

    No story telling has ever fixed my problems.

  32. What effects do you think stories have on our lives? What do they supply us with?

    Do stories in our history help shape our future, how or how not?

    I agree that stories have so much effects on our lives. We always refer back to instances and experiences that have happened.

  33. Why is creating community such an important reason, in a world already connected by community?
    How can looking through the eyes of others help beyond reading stories?
    I Like how he talks about stories building our experience and causing us to fear and love what we do.

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