Imagination vs Fantasy
All the advancement in technology and products is a result of imagination and fantasy of creative, scientific, and artistically oriented people. The ability to think and visualize about concepts and products, which have yet not been thought of, let alone seen or heard of, can best be described as a flight of fantasy. All fairy tales and legends that seem to be unbelievable because of their extraordinary powers are said to be products of fertile fantasy of our forefathers. Imagination is a similar process as it involves forming mental images, concepts and sensations of things that are not present in front of us. This confuses many as there is a lot of overlapping between imagination and fantasy. This article attempts to highlight the differences between imagination and fantasy.
What are you asking from a child when you ask him to draw the picture of an object not present in front of his eyes? You are essentially asking him to conjure up image of the items to be able to draw the figure on paper. Similarly, scientists use their fertile imagination to arrive at newer ideas and products. We all know that like millions before him, Newton saw an apple falling from a tree above his head, but it was his imagination that led him to develop Newton’s laws of motion.
With closed eyes, we can imagine things around us. This is perhaps the innate facility gifted to us by God. We use our imagination to tell the name of the product that we are made to touch in a game where people are blindfolded. The origin of the word imagination is the Latin word imaginaire meaning to draw an image.
Fantasy is a product of the imagination but it is mostly too far away from reality. It is more of the nature of a daydream where the person, when he is daydreaming, experience things and concepts that all fade away when he is awake and in his senses. A fantasy is a product of the mind and originates with frustrations, fears, ambitions, desires, depressions etc. According to Freud, the most controversial psychologist ever, fantasies are manifestations of our deepest and darkest inner drives.
Fantasy is perhaps unique to human beings. All fables and myths have characters that have superpowers such as dragons and monsters spitting fire, and human beings who are over 10 feet tall having extraordinary strength and courage. We also have sexual fantasies, and films and paintings dedicated to this genre called fantasy.
What is the difference between Imagination and Fantasy?
• Imagination is adding up images, sensations and concepts into final picture or ideas.
• Sensation leads us to conjure images through imagination.
• Imagination is goal oriented while fantasy is free floated and does not require principles of science and nature to stand.
• Fantasizing about a fire spitting monster is easy and acceptable though it is far from reality.
• Imagination gives way to creativity that is responsible for the generation of new ideas and products.
• Fantasies stem from our deep desires and ambitions.
• There is a role for both imagination as well as fantasy in the development of brain powers of children.