Jonathan Gottschall's The Storytelling Animal

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Jonathan Gottschall cuts straight to the chase in chapter one of The Storytelling Animal. His primary argument is, in fact, the first sentence the reader encounters upon reading the text. It reads, “Human life is so bound up in stories that we are thoroughly desensitized to their weird and witchy power” (1). From this starting point, he then advances his argument into smaller neighboring territories, conquering secondary arguments. On page 4, Gottschall explains that there is no defense against a writer who has cast a spell of story upon a reader. This point validates the previously mentioned “weird and witchy power” of story. On pages 5 and 6, he moves on to argue that the act of reading is not a brain dead act for the reader. The text is…show more content…
The secondary argument about the suction of stories is the most important of all compared to the other secondary arguments. Instead of simply giving examples of the magic of fiction, Gottschall forces the reader to experience the magic of story first hand by giving a quote from Nathaniel Philbrick’s In The Heart of the Sea on page 3. Once completely submerged within the fictitious world, Gottschall pulls the reader back up into reality. This cleverly affects the reader emotionally while also logically proving his point. The decision to place that particular argument in the beginning compared to being nonchalantly plopped in the middle or elsewhere amplifies the development of the primary argument. It hooks the reader early on and makes them more attentive and open minded towards weaker arguments in the middle that may have been written off had they been placed at the beginning. The second most persuasive secondary argument is the explanation of humans being creatures of story. It is by far the longest of the secondary arguments, spanning a length of nine pages. Gottschall pulls out every last example in his possession in order to prove to the reader how vast stories truly are. This tactic is efficient at driving his point home to the reader, and the reader does not become bored due to Gottschall’s ethos that projects him as a witty and realistic man. Additionally, there are quite

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