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What is the possibility of the events in Being There happening in real life?

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laliangie | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM via web

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What is the possibility of the events in Being There happening in real life?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 4, 2012 at 12:45 PM (Answer #1)

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I am not entirely certain that Kosinski's novel is to be taken in a literal sense.  In this light, given the information age and dependence on social media, Chance the Gardener would be sniffed out as being fraudulent.  Yet, it is precisely this element that brings an element of social critique into our own setting.  Chance is insulated from the outside world.  The only way he understands reality is through television.  The media is what constructs his view of consciousness and "being there" in the world.  It is this element that has relevance to the modern setting.  In an age where reality television defines entertainment, the lines between what is real and what is contrived are blurred.  In this, Chance is similar to so many who depend on social media and the media, in general, in order to form their views on reality.  In being able to fully accept what the media says about reality, we, the modern participants, are "being there" as opposed to actively questioning what constitutes our reality and why it is simply "being there."  It might be here where Kosinski's work reveals possibilities and elements about the modern setting, itself, and our place within it.

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