Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of art in human history. Stories are found everywhere, in all communities and societies. They are represented in different media including the newspapers, books, and internet and even in the literal form as narrated by other people. Storytelling as a skill and an art is considered to be highly important to people. Among other notable effects of storytelling is that it facilitates self-awareness and growth. Consequently, storytelling permits people to make sense of or understand their reality. In an illustration, the story ‘Big Fish’ talks about one boy who had to grow up without a present father and while trying to learn the father, he passes on in front of him at the pool. The boy was then left to piece up the different stories he heard about his father while trying to understand him. Worth appreciating is that the story is a reflection of the author’s life and hence, he uses the art of storytelling to understand himself. From the narration of the Big Fish, Daniel finds the meaning of self and the art is hence shown to facilitate growth. While the importance of storytelling in facilitating self-awareness and growth could be debated, the discussion presented in the current argument supports the statement with evidence as derived from Big Fish as written by Daniel Wallace. There is, therefore, sufficient support from the Big Fish story to the proposition that storytelling facilitates self-awareness as well as growth and thus permits people to make sense of their reality.
Self-awareness is one of the most critical elements of development for the human beings. It regards the ability for a child or the individual to understand own feelings, thoughts or emotions and gaining the capacity to optimize subjective potential. Through self-awareness, the individual understands what other people think of him or her and his or her behavior. Self-awareness is hence considered an important element in child development. The art of storytelling has been shown to be a critical tool in facilitating or contributing to self-awareness by individuals. Shown to be the conscious act of expressing self to an audience, storytelling involves the verbal and non-verbal methods of communication. While telling a story, an individual would have to incorporate elements of gestures, posture, and variation of tone when verbal communication is involved. Children who learn to tell stories to realize a high sense of self-esteem and confidence and have a deeper understanding of one’s feelings, thoughts, spirit, and the body. In the Big Fish illustration, Wallace draws a picture of the gradual and precise process of self-realization by the narrator who is the boy William Broom. In the efforts to appreciate and to paint a picture of the absent father, Broom results in imagining the figure his father could have been. At some point, the illustration portrays his father as a gigantic giant who would be as tall as two men, as wide as three and as strong as ten men (Wallace 30). Again, in the narration, Broom shows the father’s determination to protect and provide for the son with the aim of earning the rightful place he should have occupied if he was present in the son’s upbringing. Gradually, the image imaginations of the son about his father would create such unnatural being that would be likened to a big fish. Nevertheless, the more the imagination of who the father was, the more of a mystery he would become to his son. In the process of imagination and storytelling, the son, William Broom would gain more confidence and understanding of self. At some point, he would wish that he and the father had spent more time together as he would have understood him better. However, as noted earlier, it was through the storytelling that William Broom developed a better understanding of his past and gained more confidence to face the life ahead with the reality of the loss of the father.
More importantly, the importance of storytelling is notable in its role in facilitating growth. As observed from the children, and as illustrated by the child William Broom, growth is a critical element of life. It occurs as a child advances in age and in physical attributes. To William Broom, the father represented that role model figure and who he would emulate when he grew up. Nevertheless, in his absentia, the son was left with only the imaginations of who the father could have been. The narration of the life of the father, William Broom derived much inspiration to live from the experiences of the father. For instance, before assuming the rightful position Edward had to strife through hard labor and engaged in a fight to win his wife from the former suitor. However, the birth and gradual growth of the son made the father being away from home more often and as William noted, at some point, his father would feel more like a stranger whenever he came home (Wallace 53). Again, the story noted that when William was nine years old, the father fell off a rooftop and when he escaped death, the son would only confirm his belief that the father was immortal. In many other times, the father saved the son’s life and such was significant in shaping his future when he became a man. In the process of telling the story, William Broom could record significant growth and that would be observed through the narration. Towards the end of the story, he is shown to struggle to rescue his father from death although he ultimately died. Unlike previously when the story showed the father caring for the son, at the end, the story shows that with the passage of time, William had grown to become the one helping the aged father. The story could hence be shown to paint an effective picture of the process of growth through the illustration of William and the father’s lives.
While appreciating the process of self-awareness and growth through storytelling, one gains a clear understanding of life and the realities it brings about. For instance, as seen through the story of the Big Fish, although the father appeared to be a super being to the child, the passage of time would make William appreciate that the father was not as mysterious as he once thought. Again, just as the case of many children, the fathers play a passive role and are often away from home while the mothers spend much of the time with the children. As a reality well illustrated through the Big Fish story, the absenteeism of the fathers makes the children strangers to them. In fact, as illustrated by William Broom, little or no time would be available for the children to know their fathers and as such, the young ones would only imagine what their fathers are. Through the example of the father’s struggles in life, William would learn and appreciate the reality that as a man, he was to be hard-working. Besides, although William did not want to appreciate the mortality of the father, the reality dawns at the end of the story as the Edward drowned and became a fish in his presence. Therefore, as argued in the thesis, the art of storytelling contributes significantly to the appreciation of reality. William Groom could not remain to be a child forever and hence, storytelling would help one to appreciate the reality of time passage and the associated change as observed in growth. Therefore, as illustrated by the novel on the Big Fish, as one narrates a story, then the realities and truths of life become clearer and that emanates from self-awareness and growth.
In conclusion, the argument presented borrowed from the story by Wallace on William and the father Edward. The narration would show how the life mysteries surrounding William’s father became clearer with the passage of time and the effectual growth from a toddler who believed in the immortality of the father to the adult who would appreciate that the father was just like any other person. Through the art of storytelling, therefore, one would appreciate that the narrator becomes more aware of self and records significant growth. On the other hand, by facilitating self-awareness and growth storytelling permits the individuals to make sense of the reality as seen through the eyes of William who narrates the life of the father.