FictionSee also: Fancy rat#Fiction
Depictions of rats in fiction are historically inaccurate and negative. The most common falsehood is the squeaking almost always heard in otherwise realistic portrayals (i.e. nonanthropomorphic). While the recordings may be of actual squeaking rats, the noise is uncommon - they may do so only if distressed, hurt, or annoyed. Normal vocalizations are very high-pitched, well outside the range of human hearing. Rats are also often cast in vicious and aggressive roles when in fact, their shyness helps keep them undiscovered for so long in an infested home.
The actual portrayals of rats vary from negative to positive with a majority in the negative and ambiguous. The rat plays a villain in several mouse societies; from Brian Jacques's Redwall and Robin Jarvis's The Deptford Mice, to the roles of Disney's Professor Ratigan and Kate DiCamillo's Roscuro and Botticelli. They have often been used as a mechanism in horror; being the titular evil in stories like The Rats or H.P. Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls and in films like Willard and Ben. Another terrifying use of rats is as a method of torture, for instance in Room 101 in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four or The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe.
Selfish helpfulness —those willing to help for a price— has also been attributed to fictional rats. Templeton, from E. B. White's Charlotte's Web, repeatedly reminds the other characters that he is only involved because it means more food for him, and the cellar-rat of John Masefield's The Midnight Folk requires bribery to be of any assistance.
By contrast, the rats appearing in the Doctor Dolittle books tend to be highly positive and likeable characters, many of whom tell their remarkable life stories in the Mouse and Rat Club established by the animal-loving doctor.
Some fictional works use rats as the main characters. Notable examples include the society created by O'Brien's Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Doctor Rat, Rizzo the Rat from The Muppets, and animated films such as Pixar's Ratatouille. Mon oncle d'Amérique ("My American Uncle"), a 1980 French film, illustrates Henri Laborit's theories on evolutionary psychology and human behaviors by using short sequences in the storyline showing lab rat experiments.
In Harry Turtledove's science fiction novel Homeward Bound, humans unintentionally introduce rats to the ecology at the home world of an alien race which previously invaded Earth and introduced some of its own fauna into its environment. And A. Bertram Chandler pitted his space-bound protagonist, Commodore Grimes, against giant, intelligent rats who took over several stellar systems and enslaved their human inhabitants. "The Stainless Steel Rat" is nickname of the (human) protagonist of a series of humorous science fiction novels written by Harry Harrison.
Other articles related to "fiction":
... been largely positive, and Dune is considered by some critics to be the best science fiction book ever written ... Science fiction author Arthur C ... It was called "One of the monuments of modern science fiction" by the Chicago Tribune, while the Washington Post described it as "A portrayal of an alien society more complete and deeply ...
1978) was a British author best known for his science fiction novels and short stories ... Campbell's Astounding Science Fiction and other pulp magazines ... Russell also wrote horror fiction for Weird Tales, and non-fiction articles on Fortean topics ...
... selected Reno, Nevada, as the host city for the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, Renovation, to be held in 2011, and Raleigh, North Carolina, as the host city for the 10th North American Science ... The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association selected Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the location of Canvention 2010 and the 30th Prix Aurora Awards ...
... Thomas Mann in his novel Doctor Faustus (1943) has the fictional German composer Adrian Leverkühn attempt to write an opera on Love's Labour's Lost. ...
... DeLillo has twice been a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist for Mao II and Underworld (1992 and 1998, respectively), won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Mao ... DeLillo has described his fiction as being influenced by " the fact that we're living in dangerous times ...
Famous quotes containing the word fiction:
“Given that external reality is a fiction, the writers role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.”
—J.G. (James Graham)
“To value the tradition of, and the discipline required for, the craft of fiction seems today pointless. The real Arcadia is a lonely, mountainous plateau, overbouldered and strewn with the skulls of sheep slain for vellum and old bitten pinions that tried to be quills. Its forty rough miles by mule from Athens, a city where theres a fair, a movie house, cotton candy.”
—Alexander Theroux (b. 1940)
“My mother ... believed fiction gave one an unrealistic view of the world. Once she caught me reading a novel and chastised me: Never let me catch you doing that again, remember what happened to Emma Bovary.”
—Angela Carter (19401992)