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How literature reflects and shapes societal values and beliefs

How literature reflects and shapes societal values and beliefs

  1. Introduction

The definition of literature itself is imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity” (Rebecca West). However, the study of literature is not simply about finding the answers about what it represents or if we agree with its message. In addition, research involves analysis of the subject and its impact on people and cultural values. When we go to a museum to admire a visual art collection or when we listen to music or even go to the theatre, we usually accept the cultural values that underpin them without question and perhaps read literature. We do not read ‘literature’ because it is a special category with its own, unique values. Instead, the term ‘literature’ refers to all written or spoken material – poetry, prose, plays, song lyrics, and other genres, including not only what is published, but also what is written as a personal, emotional response to the world around us, consciously an intervention in the interpretation of that world. But why do we even study literature? There are two types of arguments in favor of studying literature: Firstly, it is often argued that we should study things that have a direct impact on us as individuals or as members of society. Secondly, the study of literature has more general, transferable value. In particular, Mark G. Gibbs argues that the alleged specialness of literature, its uniqueness, arises from the fact that it is a form of discourse that has an aesthetic, imaginative, and emotional dimension. His argument is that “literature invites us to have its imagined experiences and there is a study of language and symbols put under a unique pressure” (Gibbs 200). The study of how language operates in their distinctive and unique ways helps us understand the special functions of different types of discourse. Every day we are often using a more general term, ‘discourse’, that refers to written and spoken statements, longer argumentative forms, and language about language. However, what Gibbs argues is that if we want to find out about language – including ourselves – we can study ‘literature’, this special type of discursively.

1.1 Definition of literature

Well, what kind of knowledge does the body of literature grant us? First of all, literature is the forging of a link between the art of writing and implicit in society. Writing allows a piece of literature to survive for ages. When we have to write something relevant to a piece of literature, we have to deal with material creation over time, and this requires social. So generally literature is an act of trying to forge a new social link or relationship, or trying to do something with the relationships that either already exist or are being forged with writing material over time. Also, writers often speak of literature usually in the context of themselves as part of a greater social discourse, or of themselves as considering themselves within a specific literary.

Literature allows for a deep examination of an idea through an exploration of experience, and characters that a writer is able to present in words. Technically, literature is a term used to describe any body of written work. This body of written work can refer to a singular object, object of knowledge, up to the social body of written work. In the more general and everyday context, literature refers to something beautiful and artistic.

Literature is considered something that is written and related to culture or a language, since it’s the flask of the society. In a specific and more jargon sense, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form, or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage. It is used to number on the inferior and to dependent aspects of literature.

1.1 Definition of literature

1.2 Importance of studying literature

Studying literature not only allows students to learn about the history and culture of various aspects of society, but also helps them to develop their own creativity and communication skills. In the increasingly visual world of the new millennium, it is a necessary antidote. Studying literature will help students to gain pleasure from reading a wide range of texts and to develop their independent critical thinking and analytical skills. Literature is fundamental and essential to the progress of any society. Our ability to connect with, understand, and learn from each other and the world surrounding our lives is dependent on the study of literature. Texts need to be viewed and studied within a broad and focused context, and a student’s understanding and knowledge of literary texts is assessed with very valuable transferable skills, and a sensitivity to the pervasive presence of rich and sophisticated language. A good piece of fiction carries us beyond the present moment, helping us to escape from our problems. They rely on our ability to read the description and respond to challenging tasks clearly and coherently, cultivating a love for reading and an appreciation of the cultural values presented in society. As we read texts from a range of cultural, historical, and moral contexts, we should strive to continually question and be aware of our own preconceived judgments and attitudes. Literature exists as a complex, interrelated body of written symbolic meaning. We make sense of the world within and around us by reading and studying these written works that reflect and illustrate important aspects of the complex human condition. Through literature, a person gains a much deeper understanding of the societies and traditions of different nations. From, and within, this interpretation, we can and must argue that literature is all around people, whether it be in the form of a novel, poetry, or drama. It has its own periods of history, which exhibit the cultural and social aspects of that age. Every age has a kind of literature, each with its own shapes and colors. Every piece of literature is positioned in the historical and cultural context of the period it was written. And so, the study of literature comes in useful in developing a greater appreciation for this important aspect of any society. Every bit of help that we can use to teach literature is a good thing. The importance of studying literature we can derive from the study of the history of literature which is very complex. The passing down of works of great literature gives people the cultural and intellectual inheritance. By understanding and remembering the literary legacies, we understand the profound nature of the human experience. With the huge increase in written and electronic information, the variety of texts students can and should study is growing significantly. Literature is a way in which we can record and interpret what has happened and what our hopes are for the future. By choosing to study literature, a person opens up the opportunities and freedoms to explore this life from different aspects, instead of only seeing the world they live in from their own point of view. For all these reasons, studying literature is important in its own right, and helps the students gain insights into many other disciplines too.

  1. Literature as a reflection of societal values

2.1 Historical context in literature

2.2 Portrayal of social norms and customs

2.3 Representation of societal issues and conflicts

  1. Literature as a shaper of societal values

3.1 Influence of literary works on readers

3.2 Role of authors in promoting certain values

3.3 Literary movements and their impact on society

  1. Interplay between literature and societal beliefs

4.1 Reciprocal relationship between literature and society

4.2 Feedback loop of values and beliefs

4.3 Examples of literature challenging societal norms

  1. Impact of literature on cultural identity

5.1 Preservation of cultural heritage through literature

5.2 Exploration of cultural diversity in literature

5.3 Formation of collective identity through shared narratives

  1. Influence of literature on moral values

6.1 Ethical dilemmas in literary works

6.2 Moral lessons conveyed through literature

6.3 Development of empathy and moral reasoning

  1. Literature as a catalyst for social change

7.1 Role of literature in raising awareness

7.2 Advocacy and activism through literary works

7.3 Inspiring societal transformations through literature

  1. Conclusion

8.1 Summary of the impact of literature on societal values and beliefs

8.2 Implications for future research and analysis

How literature reflects and shapes societal values and beliefs

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