The Unwritten Round-Up

One aspect of The Unwritten that I really wish we would have got to explore further were the ideas of fame and celebrity. I do think it was important to talk about the merging of fiction and reality and the influential power of stories over society, but the book also seemed just as preoccupied with how our (western, middle-class) society tends to obsess over the famous, and how public opinion can be so easily swayed by negative press. As I said in my presentation, the general public’s opinion of Tom Taylor was massively affected by the fiction, a rumor, gossip, that he had killed everyone at the Villa Diodati, as reflected in online auctions, message boards, and new forums. This reaction seems typical, and one that we’re used to seeing all the time in an age of tabloids and entertainment news shows. In fact, I think that Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ decision to use a character so familiar to us all, the lovable boy-wizard, is a play on our popular opinion (our popularly agreed upon decision) that Harry Potter, Tommy Taylor, and even Timothy Hunter are genuinely good and trustworthy people, and how if one of them had ended up murdering some people suddenly the public would feel incredibly betrayed because we had got it in our minds, and all agreed, that this boy (or the man based off of him) would never do anything so heinous and awful. By putting Tom through a series of “wrong-place, wrong-time” trials, Carey and Gross are not only showing the reader how easily affected by fictions the public is, but also revealing how personally it can be felt by a society which had uniformly agreed to trust their vision of a person and then to have to doubt that belief (as shown in the Dr. Swann question where the mother equates Tom’s “betrayal” to a rape of her daughter).