Literature is the foundation of life. It places an emphasis on many topics from human tragedies to tales of the ever-popular search for love. While it is physically written in words, these words come alive in the imagination of the mind, and its ability to comprehend the complexity or simplicity of the text. Literature enables people to see through the lenses of others, and sometimes even inanimate objects; therefore, it becomes a looking glass into the world as others view it. It is a journey that is inscribed in pages, and powered by the imagination of the reader. Ultimately, literature has provided a gateway to teach the reader about life experiences from even the saddest stories to the most joyful ones that will touch their hearts.
From a very young age, many are exposed to literature in the most stripped down form: picture books and simple texts that are mainly for the sole purpose of teaching the alphabet etc. Although these are not nearly as complex as an 800-page sci-fi novel, it is the first step that many take towards the literary world. Progressively, as people grow older, they explore other genres of books, ones that propel them towards curiosity of the subject, and the overall book. Reading and being given the keys to the literature world prepares individuals from an early age to discover the true importance of literature: being able to comprehend and understand situations from many perspectives.
Physically speaking, it is impossible to be someone else. It is impossible to switch bodies with another human being, and it is impossible to completely understand the complexity of their world. Literature, as an alternative, is the closest thing the world has to being able to understand another person whole-heartedly. For stance, a novel about a treacherous war, written in the perspective of a soldier, allows the reader to envision their memories, their pain, and their emotions without actually being that person. Consequently, literature can act as a time machine, enabling individuals to go into a specific time period of the story, into the mind and soul of the protagonist.
With the ability to see the world with a pair of fresh eyes, it triggers the reader to reflect upon their own lives. Reading a material that is relatable to the reader may teach them morals and encourage them to practice good judgement. This can be proven through public school systems, where the books that are emphasized the most tend to have a moral-teaching purpose behind the story. An example would be William Shakespeare’s stories, where each one is meant to be reflective of human nature – both the good and bad. Consequently, this can promote better judgement of situations, so the reader does not find themselves in the same circumstances as perhaps those in the fiction world. Henceforth, literature is proven to not only be reflective of life, but it can also be used as a guide for the reader to follow and practice good judgement from.
The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays: Lady Windermere's Fan; Salome; A Woman of No Importance; An Ideal Husband; The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford World's Classics)
Book (Oxford Paperbacks)
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