Background information of a story means

To protect his son from the miseries and suffering of the world, Siddhartha's father raised him in opulence in a palace built just for the boy and sheltered him from knowledge of religion, human hardship and the outside world. The prince reached adulthood with little experience of the world outside the palace walls, but one day he ventured out with a charioteer and was quickly confronted with the realities of human frailty: He saw a very old man, and Siddhartha's charioteer explained that all people grow old.

Questions about all he had not experienced led him to take more journeys of exploration, and on these subsequent trips he encountered a diseased man, a decaying corpse and an ascetic. The charioteer explained that the ascetic had renounced the world to seek release from the human fear of death and suffering.

Siddhartha was overcome by these sights, and the next day, at age 29, he left his kingdom, his wife and his son to follow a more spiritual path, determined to find a way to relieve the universal suffering that he now understood to be one of the defining traits of humanity. For the next six years, Siddhartha lived an ascetic life, studying and meditating using the words of various religious teachers as his guide. He practiced his new way of life with a group of five ascetics, and his dedication to his quest was so stunning that the five ascetics became Siddhartha's followers.

When answers to his questions did not appear, however, he redoubled his efforts, enduring pain, fasting nearly to starvation and refusing water. Whatever he tried, Siddhartha could not reach the level of insight he sought, until one day when a young girl offered him a bowl of rice. As he accepted it, he suddenly realized that corporeal austerity was not the means to achieve inner liberation, and that living under harsh physical constraints was not helping him achieve spiritual release.

So he had his rice, drank water and bathed in the river. The five ascetics decided that Siddhartha had given up the ascetic life and would now follow the ways of the flesh, and they promptly left him. That night, Siddhartha sat alone under the Bodhi tree, vowing to not get up until the truths he sought came to him, and he meditated until the sun came up the next day.

He remained there for several days, purifying his mind, seeing his entire life, and previous lives, in his thoughts. During this time, he had to overcome the threats of Mara, an evil demon, who challenged his right to become the Buddha. When Mara attempted to claim the enlightened state as his own, Siddhartha touched his hand to the ground and asked the Earth to bear witness to his enlightenment, which it did, banishing Mara.

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And soon a picture began to form in his mind of all that occurred in the universe, and Siddhartha finally saw the answer to the questions of suffering that he had been seeking for so many years. In that moment of pure enlightenment, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha. Armed with his new knowledge, the Buddha was initially hesitant to teach, because what he now knew could not be communicated to others in words. According to legend, it was then that the king of gods, Brahma, convinced Buddha to teach, and he got up from his spot under the Bodhi tree and set out to do just that.

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About miles away, he came across the five ascetics he had practiced with for so long, who had abandoned him on the eve of his enlightenment. Siddhartha encouraged them to follow a path of balance instead of one characterized by either aesthetic extremism or sensuous indulgence. He called this path the Middle Way.

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To them and others who had gathered, he preached his first sermon henceforth known as Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma , in which he explained the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which became the pillars of Buddhism. The ascetics then became his first disciples and formed the foundation of the Sangha, or community of monks. Women were admitted to the Sangha, and all barriers of class, race, sex and previous background were ignored, with only the desire to reach enlightenment through the banishment of suffering and spiritual emptiness considered.

For the remainder of his years, Buddha traveled, preaching the Dharma the name given to his teachings in an effort to lead others along the path of enlightenment. Buddha died around the age of 80, possibly of an illness from eating spoiled meat or other food. When he died, it is said that he told his disciples that they should follow no leader, but to "be your own light.

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  • Buddhism - Definition, Founder & Origins - HISTORY.
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In epic fantasy novels, for example, prologues often give readers context for current events. In this case, telling backstory could seem the most efficient way to clarify how the past lives on in the present.


Charles Dickens opens David Copperfield with expository backstory, yet he avoids bland info-dumping:. I was a posthumous child. There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white grave-stone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out alone there in the dark night, when our little parlour was warm and bright with fire and candle […]. For example, in one piece of dialogue your character might reveal a difficult relationship with a parent.

For example, in J. The is a major emotional driver behind this quest. We later learn that the murderous anti-hero wrote an essay as a student arguing that people who take actions that benefit society as a whole should be above the law. Yet it helps us to understand the background reasoning. We see the chain of thought that leads the main character to be able to justify murder to himself.

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Backstory-heavy narration can become boring. A wash of facts about the past may delay getting to action and more recent events. So if you do write backstory at the start of your story , make sure it is engaging and interesting in itself. See what you can cut to insert elsewhere in your story. One of the key pieces of backstory revealed later in the story is that Dexter saw his mother murdered in front of him when he was a toddler. The narrative structure mimics the repression of a disturbing memory, building up to this revelation. This use of backstory adds a degree of psychological realism. It characterizes Dexter believably, making us empathize with him despite his crimes. Coming up with character background can be tricky.

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Think about people you know intimately who have shared stories about their pasts. What stories do they tell? Why are these past experiences important to them?

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What has been traumatic for them? What has been rewarding?