My answer to this question would be simply that anyone can share a story, and they can and should share it in any way that they feel will make the story most interesting. I felt this answer was pretty obvious, but still decided to explore it a little more to see if my answer had any support. To support my answer I used a book by Sandra Cisneros titled The House on Mango Street, William Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were, and William Hicks’ article “Trump Supporters Boycotting Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ Over Rumors Reshoots Added Anti-Trump Scenes”.
I started by looking at The House on Mango Street, and found that it supports my answer pretty well. The novel shows how anyone can tell any story they want, even if it may only be important to them, and any style can be used to share it. Throughout the novel, the author speaks through the narrator so it is really the narrator who helps answer the question in this way. The narrator in this novel is constantly telling stories of things that happened to her that may not seem important to the reader, but these stories were really important to her so she decided to share them. Sometimes, she does so in ways that can sometimes make the reader realize the importance of these moments for the narrator. One example of this is in the short chapter “A Rice Sandwich”, in this chapter the narrator describes how she wanted to eat in the school cafeteria instead of going home to eat every day. (P. 43“The canteen! Even the name sounds important.” and P. 45 “In the canteen, which was nothing special, lots of girls and boys watched while I cried…”). At first the story seems boring and plain, but then the author has the narrator go more in depth about her own feelings about the cafeteria and show the hopes she has for it. Then, at the end of the chapter the narrator is yelled at by a nun and, although she gets to go into the cafeteria, cries. The way the author has the narrator tells this story makes the reader sympathize with her and also lets him/her find importance in this not so important story, and maybe along the way helps the reader realize to be nice to people–since some small things they don’t think are important may mean the entire world to someone else. Another example is the chapter “Those Who Don’t” which talks about racial stereotypes and discrimination. This chapter is really short and tells a really simple story of people coming into the neighborhood where the narrator lives and feeling threatened, but the narrator knows that the people they are threatened by aren’t threatening at all. Also, it goes full circle in the end saying this same thing happens when she goes into someone else’s neighborhood that is a different race. The author must’ve found the idea of discrimination really important, so she decided to share her take on it through the narrator and gives an interesting perspective on the subject. This shows how someone can take any idea or story they find important and can share it to try and spread the idea to others, and she does so effectively by showing the impact it has on children, by telling it from the perspective of the narrator. (P. 28 “Those who don’t know any better… that is how it goes and goes.”). So most of this novel agrees with my answer that stories that anyone cares about should be shared. However, there are a few chapters in this novel that tell stories that don’t even seem to matter to the narrator, have a reason for being shared, or are told in ways that make it hard for the reader to understand what they’re saying. For example, in a chapter titled “And Some More” the narrator tells a strange story about clouds that is very abstract and hard to comprehend. The narrator and her friends are looking up at the clouds and start giving them names, but then use these names to insult each other and eventually the reader doesn’t even know what’s going on and the formatting gets really strange. (P. 37 “Yeah, and you’re foot fleas, that’s you… Mimi, Michael, Moe…”). This complicates my answer since there seems to be no reason behind the story being told, and it’s told in such a way that most people reading it won’t even be able to understand the story. If the reader can’t understand what is happening then is a story really being shared or is it just meaningless words on a piece of paper? Maybe there was a personal reason that the author felt like she or the narrator should share this story, but I don’t really know. Even with these few chapters that complicate my answer, I feel like this book really supports my original answer and I believe it could still apply to this book. But, I feel like the way someone shares a story is really up to them and they aren’t required to share it in a way that makes other people care about it. This book makes it seem like the answer to this question is really broad since so many of the stories don’t seem to really matter. Maybe anyone can share any story they want and it’s really just up to individuals to decide if and how they are going to share stories. So, I decided to look at more sources and see if they shared the same answer to this question.
According to my other sources anyone can write a story, about whatever they want, and in any format they want. This can range from a science writer writing a book about vanishing predators (William Stolzenburg’s Where the Wild Things Were) to a writer for a news site called Heat Street talking about anti-Trump messages in Star Wars, in the form of an article (William Hicks’ article “Trump Supporters Boycotting Star Wars ‘Rogue One’ Over Rumors Reshoots Added Anti-Trump Scenes). They both support this answer in their own ways. In William Stolzenburg’s book, he starts by describing why he felt the need to write the book, how it all started. He was attending the fourteenth annual meeting of the Society for Conservative Biology at the University of Montana in Missoula as a science writer, he was supposed to be writing about many of the 400 or so presentations, when he came across a presentation about the impact of vanishing predators in the environment. He said that he was so captivated by this idea and presentation that he forgot about going to watch and write about any other presentations, and just sat there watching this one for hours. He then went on to say how his love for this subject was his bias, and that what he saw that day is what made him want to write this book. Soon after the meeting he went Yellowstone National Park to look for grizzly bears and when he luckily saw a family of them he remembered “why this book for all its inherent hazards, needed writing.” (p.5) and he said even to this day he remembers that when he looks at the notes he took. This shows that anyone who cares about something can and should write about it. In his case he already happened to be a science writer, but even if you aren’t you can still write something even if it’s as simple as a blog post, or maybe just some notes on a piece of paper like he did so at least you remember. He shows with his final lines of the prologue that you should write when you know it’s about something that people need to know about. Writing, according to this book is a way to spread information to the public and help better life and the world, including predators in the environment. This book also shows how stories should be written by people who can write for the people who can’t or are afraid to. Many of the ideas in this book aren’t original, as seen by the ridiculously long bibliography (p.223-278) but he still writes it and it is still very important. Stolzenburg is spreading other’s ideas and doing it in a way that is easier for the general public to understand so everyone can try and do something to help his cause of conservation. On the other hand, the article I chose helps to answer my question simply because the topic it is on doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it still got written and people are still going to believe what it says. Also, within the articles there were some tweets that are shown and they prove that anyone can tell a story, even if it’s just some random guy typing a 10 word story about Star Wars being anti-Trump for a whole bunch of people that don’t know him to read. This article just shows the expansiveness of what can be written about and who can write about it. So, these sources agreed with my answer and helped support it a lot, but one way they seem to kind of go against it is that the people who wrote both of them are both writers. So, in that sense it doesn’t really go against my answer, but it also doesn’t prove my point. These articles actually make me consider changing my question instead of the answer since the answer to it seems so simple. But, I still think it’s a good question to look at because maybe not all people think about this as they read a story, and maybe thinking about this question will make someone realize they can share their own story no matter who they are.
Overall, looking at these sources just further supported the answer I had and, if anything, made me think I should’ve looked at a more specific question. Still, like I said before, this question is an important one to consider because if we don’t think about who shares stories now we could be in big trouble if those people stop, because stories are what keeps society going. Stories give hope for a better future, show how things could be worse, and also provide other views of many issues. Without stories everyone would be stuck in their own head and their own little world not considering others, so it’s important to recognize and thank those who take the time to write and share them.