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Literature Study Guides and Chapter Summaries

And so it is with literature. After studying the various forms of literature plays, stories, poetry, novels , students begin to recognize literary elements such as irony and symbolism and to understand how they contribute to the work.

Studying literature will make it possible for you to enjoy what you read to a greater extent because you will understand the artistry that created it. Literature unlocks the culture of the time period, and in a way can give wisdom to the modern society about life.

Literature allows us to interpret our own life and emotions and find ways to relate to the story so we in turn can reflect. It is also a form of entertainment and allows people to use their imagination to visualize the story within their own mind. But I find the real point of literature is the story of life, and all people want to do is to connect to other human beings so they find meaning in their own life. I think literature is one of the most honest forms of art.

While movies and music are subject to censorship, and often only support one interpretation, literature is a living, breathing manifestation of life.

Each time we read, we gain something we didn't have before. Even reading the same text at a different point in your life offers secrets you didn't discover the first time. That's why I encourage my students to speak of the texts we study in the present tense: It all depends on the person and their individual circumstances.

Most people read literature for enjoyment and study. An endless supply of mysteries, horrors, comedies, and tragedies, helps people to understand their own situation in life better. Of course, not everyone benefits from reading. It also is determined by a reader's motivation.

Your discourse gave me such motivation to focus my self toward reading I enjoyed every single line that i read. I don't think we need to study literature. We are given literature as part of our education, so to some degree we don't have a choice. Though it is up to each individual as to how much one learns from studying it. Studying Literature is what lets us get creative with model stories to go off of when you are writing your own. In his Poetics , Aristotle called Poetry superior to History, for History deals with the particular, but Poetrydeals with the universal.

Literature elevates the particular to the universal. We can see ourselves on the pages of a novel, or in the enactment of a play. In the broadest sense literature is any text or arrangement of words that conveys meaning. However, in a narrower sense it refers to texts such as stories, novels, poetry, and essays. In this sense a biography of a historical personality may also be classified as literature. In still narrower sense, works which are concerned with totally technical or professional issues may not be considered as literature.

Thus Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith may be considered a book on a technical subject rather than as literature. Also works that are considered frivolous - from example, comics - may not be considered literature. Irrespective of how we describe literature, the three most common reasons for studying literature are 1 Pleasure and enjoyment, 2 Obtaining Information, and 3 Developing our knowledge.

In addition to the above reasons for studying literature, we also study literature as a part of our curriculum for two reasons:. Literature is part of our cultural heritage which is freely available to everyone, and which can enrich our lives in all kinds of ways. Once we have broken the barriers that make studying literature seem daunting, we find that literary works can be entertaining, beautiful, funny, or tragic.

They can convey profundity of thought, richness of emotion, and insight into character. They take us beyond our limited experience of life to show us the lives of other people at other times. They stir us intellectually and emotionally, and deepen our understanding of our history, our society, and our own individual lives.

In great writing from the past we find the England of our ancestors, and we not only see the country and the people as they were, but we also soak up the climate of the times through the language itself, its vocabulary, grammar, and tone. We would only have to consider the writing of Chaucer , Shakespeare , Boswell, Dickens , and Samuel Beckett side by side to see how the way writers use language embodies the cultural atmosphere of their time.

Literature can also give us glimpses of much earlier ages. Glimpses of Celtic Ireland in the poetry of W. Literature can enrich our experience in other ways too. London, for example, is all the more interesting a city when behind what we see today we see the London known to Dickens, Boswell and Johnson, or Shakespeare.

And our feeling for nature can be deepened when a landscape calls to mind images from, say, Wordsworth, Thomas Hardy , or Ted Hughes. The world of English literature consists, apart from anything else, of an astonishing array of characters, from the noble to the despicable - representations of people from all walks of life engaged in all kinds of activities.

Through their characters great authors convey their insights into human nature, and we might find that we can better understand people we know if we recognise in them characteristics we have encountered in literature. Perhaps we see that a certain man's behaviour resembles that of Antony in Antony and Cleopatra , or a certain woman is rather like The Wife of Bath in Chaucer 's Canterbury Tales. Seeing such similarities can help us to understand and accept other people.

Good works of literature are not museum pieces, preserved and studied only for historical interest. They last because they remain fresh, transcending as well as embodying the era in which they were written.

Each reader reading each work is a new and unique event and the works speak to us now, telling us truths about human life which are relevant to all times.

Whether we choose to study it or read it for pleasure, when we look back over our literature we are looking back over incredible richness. Not just museum pieces, but living works which we can buy in bookshops, borrow from the library, or download from the internet and read today, right now. Reading and studying literature--whether prose, poetry, or drama--helps us to understand the world around us and gives us insights into the human condition.

Studying literature also helps us to see how human behaviors, drives, struggles, ambitions and the like remain the same, regardless of when a work of literature was written. As in Romeo and Juliet , young people still fall in love and struggle with overwhelming problems, whether their families are feuding or their peers discourage the relationship.

Shakespeare's Othello illustrates how destructive jealousy can be, while Macbeth shows us the ruin brought about by overweening ambition. Literature can be powerful enough to enact societal change.

For example, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was the catalyst that brought about much-needed laws to improve working conditions in the meat-packing industry the federal Food and Drug Administration was created. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin depicted the inhuman, brutal nature of slavery and has been credited as one of the main variables that brought about the American Civil War. At the very least, studying literature provides us the aesthetic pleasure that comes from enjoying a well-written story or novel.

But make no mistake--literature can be powerful enough to change the world, whether for better or worse. Technically speaking, one doesn't need to study literature. However, it is something that, in my opinion as well as many others, needs to be studied and understood.

Literature is something that has been in society since writing languages were created, and will be here until the human race dies out. In order to fully understand not only the world around you today, but also that of the past, and possibly the future, one should study literature. The word can mean somebody who does something for a living: It can mean anyone who does an especially good job: Educators have yearned to be recognized as professionals for generations, but the current drive for professionalization originated in the mids, when it became apparent to policymakers that mandates by themselves were not going to bring substantially higher achievement.

Minimum competency tests and stiffer graduation requirements may have affected the quantity of students' education, but its quality depended on the quality of their instruction, and that depended on their teachers. Literature has always been my escape from reality as well. It opens a new door inside a world that becomes yours to explore and make assumptions and the best thing about is that there is never a wrong answer when it comes to literature.

It is what you make it. Literature is what makes us human. There is an immense satisfaction from reading a novel that speaks to you; whose very words touch your soul.

Its an amazing relief to know that you and your doubts, dreams, and concerns are not alone in this world; that there were people before you who struggled just as you do now. It alleviates the feeling of being alone in life. Studying literature exposes us to new ideas, cultures, and people which can broaden your mind. Reading is the only activity where we see words then draw pictures in our mind of what the words are saying.

Literature allows personal interpretation that reading a newspaper or most magazines do not allow. In literature, there are aspects like metaphors, weaving narratives, character points of view and irony that we have to actively sort through in order to truly understand the text. We know that great scores take work. That's why we design our courses to be efficient, targeted and strategic so you make the most of every minute you spend prepping. Our experts know how to design lessons based on how you're learning.

We love our teachers, and so will you. Teach or Tutor for Us. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. Privacy Terms of Use Site Map. All Grades, Any Skill Level Regular, honors, even undergrad college writing courses, we cover them all.

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English Literature Homework Help English literature encompasses written works in the English language in the form of short stories, novels, novellas, dramas, one-act plays and poems. Even though most students have a strong command over the English language, they find it difficult to study English Literature.

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