Title 4 – KQ 2 : How does “ Suspension of disbelief” support Imagination and Intuition?




Suspension of disbelief is an essential foundation for storytelling. Taking the leap of faith, the readers and patrons are willing to believe a story’s premise and setting at the outset. This frame of mind is more important in science fiction and fantasy, where the worlds being portrayed can be very different from our own and it requires a fair amount of Imagination to appreciate and understand the narrative. For example , Black-and-white films provide an obvious early example that audiences are willing to suspend disbelief, no matter how unplausible the images appear, for the sake of entertainment. Suspension of disbelief is also supposed to be essential for the enjoyment of many films and television shows involving complex stunts, special effects, and seemingly unrealistic plots and characterizations.


Suspension of belief in the process of sweeping us in Imaginative realm also provides a means of escape and an opportunity to examine human nature. “The phrase ‘suspension of disbelief,’ ” noted the columnist Alan Nathan in The Washington Times, “is a literary term of art referring to one of Aristotle’s principles of theater in which the audience accepts fiction as reality so as to experience a catharsis, or a releasing of tensions to purify the soul.” He went on to characterize the general’s testimony as “more in keeping with Bertolt Brecht’s philosophy of Verfremdungseffekt, or distancing from that suspended belief, in order to maintain a clearheaded appreciation of the drama in focus.”

“ suspension of disbelief” not only appeals to the similarities but creates similarities by either downplaying or highlighting certain aspects meant to attribute specific meaning to carry us into the realms of Imagination , to evoke feelings and memories .

Herbert Spencer , American cognitive psychologist and polymath suggests that something is simple or complex depending on the way we choose to describe it.