Let’s say you’re interested in a book or a movie and you’ve been looking forward to learning more about it. You have money in hand, struck with excitement to open or view it, what are your expectations?
Oh, right that’s too vague. Let’s say you find a book or movie in which you’ve never heard of the author or producer and discover the main character was not what you expected? Like a book in which they neglect the detail about the character being black not white or gay not straight.
What is your response? Does this lack of notice anger or upset you? Does this new information capture your attention? Will this affect your opinion?
I’ve decided to explore this topic because I’m not sure I can say it’s been discussed often.
To give some context, I’m not referring to a reboot, a rewrite or a white character being cast when the character was explicitly black. I’m referring to picking up a new title only to discover it’s not anything like what you expected.
A book, for example, can be so descriptive yet so vague. You could get to the halfway mark before you realize the character is a lesbian and had no interest in her male coworker, Carl, but loved Phylicia instead.
In my opinion these details only deepen my interest. To discover such creative liberties is a more enticing morsel to nibble on, because now there’s a depth few creators explore.
I have been delighted to see such works of fiction and nonfiction alike crop up, but more of it should be encouraged.
Let’s say you read through a book and there was no indication that the character was anything but what you assumed? What do you expect going into a piece? Do you try to decipher the subliminal clues from the cover or location if it’s described?
I feel like the assumption going into any piece is based on personal experiences. Majority of the time we expect the character to what we’re used to seeing or reading about. For example, going into a story about a mystery in Nebraska, you’ll assume a white christian heterosexual male of female? How would you feel if that perception was wrong and the character was a black male or female that was Jewish and gay? Maybe you assume the character is thin and tall when they’re short and fat?
All I’m saying is I’m interested in perception. I’ve grown up with majority of content being about heterosexual males that are most likely christian or agnostic. I yearn for more content in which the character is not what I expected. Strictly speaking, from a reader’s point of view, I like interesting tidbits similar to this idea.
With this being said, I’d like feedback. Have I been misled? Have I not been exposed to those marvelous pieces? My eyes and mind are open.
What are your expectations going into a story or movie?