At its best, fiction is revelatory.
Most people would readily agree that “literary” fiction can reveal something we never knew about ourselves. They would agree that “contemporary” fiction can remind us of things we’ve forgotten. That’s because these fictions are “designed” to do that. Most people would tell you that science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance and every other brand of genre fiction is meant solely to entertain.
Take IRON MAN 2, for instance. In this brief discussion, let me remind you that at its best, fiction is revelatory. As such, it can reveal different things to different people. I am NOT saying what IRON MAN 2 is “about”. Only the filmmaker knows what he or she wanted IRON MAN 2 to be “about”.
But it revealed a few things to me.
First of all is that “It doesn’t matter how you dress up, what really matters is what’s in your heart.” With palladium as the only metal that could withstand the forces of the Arc unit, Tony Stark was being poisoned. It showed not only in the toxic levels of palladium in his blood, but in his behavior as well. He was a hero and the most powerful being on Earth, but things were not right in his heart.
Secondly, the only real power for his heart was a new element in the shape of a triangle that came from hints left by his father. Now if that doesn’t stir your Christian imagination, I don’t know what will! For me, the revelation was clear: a triangle – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in my heart is ALL that can power my walk with Christ. It is the only thing that can stop my slow slide into eternal death. The place the power comes from is, of course, our Father, who art in Heaven…
Oh, third but not last, it also revealed to me that I can still enjoy a grand adventure with my son, late night movie and all!
What’s your IRON MAN 2 revelation?