What Can We Learn From Literature?
The term literature has originated from a Latin word that means “writing formed with letters”. Creative works like poetry, fiction, non-fiction, drama, and sometimes even journalism and songs are literature. It represents the tradition and culture of a people or a language. Many people consider literature to be a refined art form.
Difference between Literary Fiction and Genre Fiction
There is more character development in literary fiction than genre fiction. It uses symbolism and explores themes related to the human condition. In literary fiction, the protagonist undergoes some experiences, realizes certain things, and ultimately changes to some extent.
Genre fiction is read mostly for entertainment and includes mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, and thriller writing types.
To interpret the message of a book, we can examine the use of words and the character’s description. We use a sociological, historical, mythological, psychological, or some other approach to decode the text and better understand the depth and context of the literary work.
Importance of Literature
Literary works provide a blueprint of society. Writings of the Egyptian civilization, Homer’s epics, and William Shakespeare’s plays give insight into the prevalent social systems of the times. So, literary masterpieces are not only historical but also cultural artifacts.
Some novels may not be considered as literature by one generation. But they may gain recognition during the following period. For example, Herman Melville’s book Moby Dick did not impress the contemporaries of the time. But now, it is considered to be an excellent literary work because of its symbolism and thematic complexity.
Enhances Vocabulary, Critical Thinking, and Other Skills
The students who read literature for pleasure possess better vocabulary, reading comprehension, and good communication skills. These skills play a significant role in all spheres of life. By analyzing literary works, they develop critical thinking. Inadvertently, they examine the characters sociologically or psychologically and identify their motives.
When students write an essay on some literary work, they use their problem-solving ability. They put forth a thesis. Then they follow it up and compile their paper. Besides this, they use research skills to find sufficient evidence from the scholarly criticisms and the text to support their thesis. Finally, they use their organizational ability to present the dissertation coherently and cohesively.
Develops Emotions and Empathy
Literature has a universal appeal. It speaks to the people and has an impact on their minds and hearts. Studies have shown that those who read literary works are more empathetic towards others. Literature enables a person to think from the other person’s point of view. People who possess empathy can socialize better, solve conflicts in a peaceful way, and cooperate with their colleagues.
Another impact of literature is that readers feel less isolated and have a better connection with humanity. Students find solace when they read about other people who have undergone similar experiences like them. So, they do not feel burdened by their troubles.
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