Hoaxes and Literature-Liliana Z.

A hoax is a fabrication containing misleading information that is purposefully meant to deceive a group of people in order to portray an idea or message. There are many recent hoaxes that have become notorious for their power to persuade individuals into believing false information with no clear sources of evidence; for example, the 2008 Bigfoot hoax in Georgia, which led many to believe in the existence of a perpetual myth. Hoaxes can be very persuasive, containing aspects that people can easily relate to. Literature, in contrast, may contain false information but the reader is informed of the falsehood. Dracula, for example, is a horror novel written by Bram Stoker that contains gruesome characters and scenarios. The story is presented in realistic and believable detail; the reader, however, is aware of the fabrications and is not being misled. One’s motivation is another difference between hoaxes and literature. Many hoaxers have egotistic motivations whereas authors want readers to be informed and entertained. Hoaxes leave an individual in oblivion whereas readers are informed and capable of coming to their own conclusions.


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