He could have told George he was writing about the hostage to bring him back, to return a meaning that had been lost to the world when they locked him in that room. Maybe that was it.
When you inflict punishment on someone who is not guilty, when you fill rooms with innocent victims, you begin to empty the world of meaning and erect a separate mental state, the mind consuming what’s outside itself, replacing real things with plots and fictions. One fiction taking the world narrowly into itself, the other fiction pushing out toward the social order, trying to unfold into it. He could have told George a writer creates a character as a way to reveal consciousness, increase the flow of meaning. This is how we reply to power and beat back our fear.
By extending the pitch of consciousness and human possibility.
– Mao II by Don DeLillo