CONCEPTS OF LITERATURE
Various Definitions of Literature
- Literature is the work of art which use language creatively to express human realities (the universe is the source of these realities to be expressed)
- Literature is the use of language in a peculiar way (different from normal language use) in order to reflect social realities through artistic use of language (Gibbon)
- Literature is defined as books and other written works, especially those considered to have creative or artistic merit or lasting value.
- Literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, and sometimes deploys language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
- Literature is a term used to describe written and sometimes spoken material. Derived from the Latin word meaning "writing formed with letters," literature most commonly refers to works of the creative imagination, including poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and in some instances, journalism, and song.
Importance of Literature in the Society
- Expanding horizons
First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.
- Building critical thinking skills
Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts a class. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes,and learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.
- A leap into the past
History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.
- Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs
Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.
- Better writing skills
When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.
- Addressing humanity
All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.