Why Storytelling is More Than Just Entertainment “The Storytelling Animal”

Storytelling is a fundamental aspect of human nature and plays a crucial role in our survival and development as a species. This is the central argument made by Jonathan Gottschall in his book “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human.” Through scientific research, literature, and personal anecdotes, Gottschall illustrates the various ways in which storytelling shapes our lives. We delve into the key points of the book and explore the significance of storytelling in human evolution and culture.

Storytelling as a Fundamental Human Tendency

Gottschall argues that storytelling is not just a leisure activity, but serves important psychological and social functions. For example, storytelling allows us to make sense of our experiences and to transmit important information and values to others. It also helps us to form and maintain social bonds and to navigate complex social situations.

The Relationship between Storytelling and Fiction

Gottschall also explores the relationship between storytelling and fiction, arguing that fiction is not a recent invention. But rather a natural extension of our innate storytelling abilities. Fiction allows us to imagine and explore different worlds and scenarios, and this ability has been crucial for human survival and adaptation.

The Role of Storytelling in Education and the Workplace

Storytelling is an effective tool for teaching and learning. It can communicate complex ideas and information in a more engaging and memorable way. Students who were taught scientific concepts through storytelling performed better on tests according to a study. Similarly, storytelling can be used to convey corporate values, inspire and motivate employees, and create a sense of shared purpose and identity.

The Wrap Up

In conclusion, “The Storytelling Animal” provides a unique perspective on the role and value of storytelling in human life.