Can Positivtiy Go Too Far in Literature? {Becca’s Bookish Discussion}

YAY POSITIVTY GO POSITVITY WE LOVE THE POSITVITY SPREAD THE POSITIVITY!!!

I mean, obviously I believe in the above! Why else would I create The Blogger Positivity Movement??!

But. Hmm. How far do we carry that principle in literature? What are we willing to sacrifice for total positivity?

This calls for a pro-con list, doesn’t it! (Of course it does. Everything calls for a pro-con list. Cream puff or pecan pie? Pro-con list. Sleep forever or do education? Pro-con list. Vacuum your atrociously dirty home or lounge on the couch with Netflix and never move? Pro-con list. Solves everything.)

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  • Positivity makes people feel goooood! Don’t we all adore that fuzzy wuzzy feeling blossoming in our chest ☺️
  • Being pummeled with positivity leads us to pummel positivity on others. We become kinder people when we rollick in love!
  • TIME FOR SOME SCIENCE! Research shows positivity builds your skills right up, boosts your health bunches, and improves your work! Guys! That’s amazing! Positvity rocks!

  • If we never focus on negative situations, we can never change them. Think about it: if we had never faced the reality of the boiling negativity of slavery, would it have been abolished?
  • As all the creepy peepy dystopian novels have taught us, wanting ALL THE POSITVITY can lead to destroying ALL THE TRUTH. Issues exist. Ignoring them solves nothing.

Recently I’ve been campaigning for a bit more positivity in the bookish community. But what about literature? Am I campaigning for positvity in literature too?

Short answer: Not really, no.

You read this blog post and knot your eyebrows in confuzzledment. “Becca!” You exclaim. “There are more positvity pros than positivity cons! You’ve been campaigning for positivity before, why not now?? Why are you so confusing and weird??”

What a cool beans question!

Really, why don’t I call for more positivity in literature?

Because literature has been, throughout history, a resource for addressing negativity. It has done so in the most powerful manner, and it’s not something to undermine.

The Marvelous Examples:

These works of literature and a plethora of others have contributed to inspiring revolution, abolishing slavery, and saving species! Power is in words and it isn’t to be underestimated!

Yup, these world-shaping books had to spread some knowledge of all the negativity around. And you know what happened after that? People fixed the negativity. People were inspired by words and they FIXED. IT.

In order to create positvite we must expose negative realities.

So, NOPEDY NOPE. I will never complain about negativity in literature.

What about having positvity in books?

Yup, super important too! Positive books:

  1. Influence the world to feel just a bit happier and that matters. And you know what? We’ve got those books too! (Comment below if you’re looking for recommendations 😉)
  2. Allow us to escape from the negativity of the world for just a bit, also a must. And you know what? We’ve got those books too! (Comment below if you’re looking for recommendations 😉)
  3. Expose us to the possibilities. Expose us to the world that results when we’re kinder. And you know what? We’ve got those books too! (Comment below if you’re looking for recommendations 😉)

ARE YA SENSING A PATTERN?

Literature has glorious works both inspiring positivity and exposing negativity. LITERATURE HAS ACHIEVED THE SPLENDOROUS BALANCE.


Positivity in literature  accomplishes great good. Negativity in literature accomplishes great good.

Literature accomplises great good.

My perspective isn’t the only one! How do you feel about positivity + negativity in literature? Do you have anything to add? Or subtract? What books have shone you some negativity in the world you must change? What books have proven a healthy escape in times of struggles?

Searching for more electrifying discussions? Fret not! I’ve got ya covered:


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33 thoughts on “Can Positivtiy Go Too Far in Literature? {Becca’s Bookish Discussion}

  1. This is such an interesting discussion, and I totally agree with you! I enjoy fluffy, happy books, but I also read books about mental illnesses and suicide. I can learn from it, and it intrigues me. It’s good to have both!
    -Amy

  2. I get what you were saying.
    I was just mentioning the fact that not everything needs to be a happy ending. That’s it is OK if not everything works out perfectly but you’ve learned things along the way.
    I guess I just associate “positive realities” with “happy endings” because both are good things that people expect when reading literature.

  3. You make some really neat points!
    What I meant by negative books was not necessarily “books with no happy ending.” I mean books that face negative realities. Such as the one you named: propels struggling to find self-confidence. That’s not a positive thing. But often it is transformed into a positive thing by the end of the story—the MC finds confidence. Ya see what I’m saying?

  4. When I was a middle school / high school student, I read tons of books about things like the holocaust & Japanese interment camps, massacres of Native Americans etc. I really do think that it is important to make sure that the truth is known, especially as we are forming our ideas of the world.

    That said, at this particular point in my life, I seek out more positive stuff where possible. So there is definitely a need for both.

    My most recent Discussion: Grappling with Goodreads

  5. To echo the comments above, this is brilliant. I couldn’t agree more. I try to be as optimistic a guy as I can be but we can’t hide away from what’s wrong with the world or, as you point out perfectly, nothing will ever change. Art in general and literature specifically has enormous potential to affect us, to move us and, in so doing, we can transform the world around us. This is just beautiful!

  6. As a reader, I think you have to see the positivity in the negative. Like you said, negative aspects in a novel spark conversation–often much needed conversation.

    I have no problem with positivity centred books. I love books where characters (particularly female characters) become more self-confident. They start to see their worth despite whatever flaw they feel they have. Those stories are so inspiring.

    But so are those stories where you see the opposite. When you have a character that can’t find the good in themselves (or others) and so they become destructive. You can learn so much about these characters and the consequences.

    I like stories that are gritter and I don’t always need a happy ending to satisfy me. I just want to read a really good story.

  7. Totally, completely, 110% agree with this. I seriously never understand people complaining about a book being “too negative” by addressing VERY real issues. Yes we do certainly need positivity in books and loads of it but we need negativity too to actually TURN it into positivity. And to mix up things a bit too.Because things can get realy boring, really quickly.
    FANTASTIC POST AS ALWAYS ❤

  8. This is ssuch a good post, and you’re right, if we really want to share positivity in the blogging community, it can be eye opening to read some books with negative situations, negative characters, because it only calls for progress and change 🙂

  9. Really great post! I like books with both positivity and negativity in them. The character overcoming the negativity and growing into a better person is always a great book.

  10. This raises such an important question! Great post. I think having less positive books can add a little bit more of a sense of reality. Not everything is all sunshine, happiness and rainbows, if books always focus on happiness we’ll never learn from them and we’ll ending up getting sick of novels. It’s important to have a balance! 🙂

  11. Amazing post, I agree completely. In literature I think a bit of negativity is also used for readers to have something to relate to and have a connection with the character.

  12. This post was fantastic! Positivity is needed to see the silver lining and create avenues for change. Negativity is needed to drill in reality, but also to create something to fight against. Without good, there would be no bad and without bad, there would be no good. So goes the Yin and Yang of life.

  13. I think having a balance of both positivity and negativity is equally important. Without negativity in literature, I feel as though we would become disillusioned. We need negativity to learn from it and know that something negative can be turned into a positive. I feel that with too much positivity, we would become disillusioned as well. I feel that with too much positivity we would become blind to problems and always think everything is the sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies when in reality that’s not how the world is.

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