“In Reading and Understanding, Roger Schank tells us [a] story:
John loved Mary but she didn’t want to marry him. One day, a dragon stole Mary from the castle. John got on top of his horse and killed the dragon. Mary agreed to marry him. They lived happily ever after.
In this book Schank is concerned with what children understand when they read, and he asked a three-year-old-girl about the story.
P: Why did John kill the dragon?
C: ‘Cause it was mean.
P: What was mean about it?
C: It was hurting him.
P: How did it hurt him?
C: It was probably throwing fire at him.
P: Why did Mary agree to marry John?
C: ‘Cause she loved him very much and he wanted very much to marry her . . .
P: How come Mary decided to marry John when she wouldn’t in the beginning?
C: That’s a hard question.
P: Well, what do you think the answer is?
C: Because then she just didn’t want him and then he argued very much and talked to her a lot about marrying her and then she got interested in marrying her. I mean him.”
—Umberto Eco, from Six Walks in the Fictional Woods