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Encyclopedia > Escapism

Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an "escape" from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily stress. It can also be used as a term to define the actions people do to try to help feelings of depression or general sadness. A stilt-walker entertaining shoppers at a shopping centre in Swindon, England Entertainment is an event, performance, or activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience (although, for example, in the case of a computer game the audience may be only one person). ... People participating in summer luge as a form of recreation, in the Vosges. ... Everyday life is the sum total of every aspect of common human life as it is routinely lived. ... Grieving Thai females. ... In everyday language depression refers to any downturn in mood, which may be relatively transitory and perhaps due to something trivial. ...


Some believe that this diversion is more inherent in today's urban, technological existence because it de-facto removes people from their biologically normal natures. Entire industries have sprung up to foster a growing tendency of people to remove themselves from the rigors of daily life. Principal amongst these are fiction literature, music, sports, films, television, roleplaying games, pornography, recreational drugs, the internet and computer games. Many activities that are normal parts of a healthy existence (e.g., eating, exercise, sexual activity) can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extreme. Escapist fiction is fiction which provides a psychological escape from thoughts of everyday life by immersing the reader in exotic situations or activities. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ... This article is about traditional role-playing games. ... Pornographic movies Pornography (Porn) (from Greek πόρνη (porne) prostitute and γραφή (grafe) writing), more informally referred to as porn or porno, is the explicit representation of the human body or sexual activity with the goal of sexual arousal. ... Recreational drug use is the use of psychoactive drugs for recreational rather than medical or spiritual purposes, although the distinction is not always clear. ... This article needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ...


In the context of being taken to an extreme, the word 'escapism' carries a negative connotation, suggesting that escapists are unhappy, with an inability or unwillingness to connect meaningfully with the world.


Some social critics warn about attempts by the powers that control society to provide means of escapism instead of actually bettering the condition of the people: for example, Karl Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people". This is contrary to the thought of Saint Augustine of Hippo, who argued that people try to find satisfaction in material things to fill a void within them that only God can fill. Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883, London) was a German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... “Augustinus” redirects here. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. ... Phoenician silver drachm from ca. ...


Others may argue that means of escapism are provided by capitalism to those who desire a form of "escape." Some fictional escapist societies are the Eloi of The Time Machine as well as those depicted in certain dystopian novels. Examples of this are Fahrenheit 451, where society uses television and "seashell radios" to escape an otherwise bland life and Brave New World where drugs and recreational sex are used. It has been suggested that Definitions of capitalism be merged into this article or section. ... The Eloi are one of the two post-human races in H. G. Wells 1895 novel The Time Machine. ... The Time Machine is a novel by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895, later made into two films of the same title. ... A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia[1], kakotopia or anti-utopia) is a fictional society that is the antithesis of utopia. ... Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian soft science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury that was published in 1953. ... Brave New World is a dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley, first published in 1932. ...


However, there are some who challenge the idea that escapism is fundamentally and exclusively negative. For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien, responding to the Anglo-Saxon academic debate on escapism in the 1930s, wrote in his essay "On Fairy-Stories" that escapism had an element of emancipation in its attempt to figure a different reality. His friend C. S. Lewis was also fond of remarking that the usual enemies of escape were jailers. J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916. ... On Fairy-Stories is an essay written by J. R. R. Tolkien, first published in Essays Presented to Charles Williams, Oxford University Press, 1947. ... Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an Irish author and scholar. ...


A German social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfillment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere 'daydreaming' or 'escapism' from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, it can be seen as an "immature, but honest substitute for revolution". Ernst Simon Bloch (IPA: , July 8, 1885 – August 4, 1977) was a German Marxist philosopher and atheist theologian. ... A daydream is a form of consciousness that involves a low level of conscious activity. ...


External links

  • Escapism - What & Why? Explanation of the rise of escapism from an altruistic perspective.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Escapism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (461 words)
Escapism is mental diversion by means of entertainment or recreation, as an "escape" from the perceived unpleasant aspects of daily reality.
In the context of being taken to an extreme, the word 'escapism' carries a negative connotation, suggesting that escapists are unhappy souls, with an inability or unwillingness to connect meaningfully with the world.
Explanation of the rise of escapism from an altruistic perspective.
Escapism - What it is & Why it appeals (431 words)
Escapism is not defined by the behaviour itself but the motivation behind it.
Means of escapism have become increasingly varied over the past few decades, but fascination in details remains a popular one.
We interpret the popularity of escapism as an indication that people are unhappy with the lives they are leading - whether due to material deprivation or cloying overconsumption.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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