Why are Americans afraid of dragons? By Ursula Le Guin.

After reading ” Why are Americans afraid of dragons” by Le Guin, I immediately thought of the movie Inside Out. When I watched Inside Out with my five year old niece I was not expecting to be entertained. It was animated and it is about a child but after watching it was so much more than that. I loved the movie and I would have watched it again with her if she asked.

When movies come out like this or Frozen as adults we tend to cringe because the songs or plot lines are too “childish”. But a child needs to  have imagination and if a song brings it out then so be it.

This is not to say that people should leap up and read children’s fiction or watch movies aimed at children. Don’t have a simple view of it. Be more open minded and share in what children feel. When you were young, you probably would have sang along to Frozen and would have loved it.

Le Guin breaks down the way adults view reading fantasy books that bring out their imagination if they let it. “You see, I think we have a terrible thing here: a hardworking, upright, responsible citizen, a full-grown, educated person, who is afraid of dragons, and afraid of hobbits, and scared to death of fairies. It’s funny, but it’s also terrible. Something has gone very wrong. “Le Guin, p-43. Adults have repressed their imagination and in turn have hid their childhood. Having an Imagination doesn’t mean that you won’t take care of your home or work. It just means you enjoy media with a perspective that you can share with children. Don’t be afraid of dragons because fantasy can be the best kind of fiction. As an example, Harry Potter isn’t real, but it explores real issues. It is filled with magic as I used to read I found myself imagining it was me with a wand or playing quiddich with my friends. There’s nothing childish about escaping to a world in fantasy.


Le Guin, U. K. (1974). Why are Americans afraid of dragons? In The Language of the Night: Essays on fantasy and science fiction, 34-40.




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