Throughout the history of the world there has been an ongoing conversation of the ideas andP values that shape our society and have shaped each successive society. P If you want to take part of this \”Great Conversation\” of ideas that underlie the very world that we live in – our governments, our religions, our culture, our entertainment, and our economy, you need to understand the conversation that has happened previously before you can truly jump into its current. P If you have ever tried to jump into a conversation in the middle – you should see how awkward that can be – you will often merely rehash old ideas that have already been said. P This conversation was not played out in speech, it has been played out in the great works of literature, philosophy, and history.
P This is why literature is important. PP It asks the questions and poses the answers to universal questions of life that have effected mankind over the course of existence. P It encourages you to think about why you do what you do and question whether you are truly thinking about the results of your actions. P These types of questions allow you to help shape your world rather than being shaped by a culture that you do not really understand.
There are aspects of English culture that are encapsulated by English literature.
Of course, this is quite obvious when studying the works of Shakespeare or of writers, poets and playwrights of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is, however, also true when studying other works of English literature. Students can learn about allusions and references to different aspects of English culture. They can also learn the context and meanings of famous quotes and phrases. Studying Literature does not confine the students to the traditions of England but includes the possibility of introducing them to traditions which inform English Literature, such as the study of Ancient Greek drama, and to literature in other contexts, such as American literature.
It also provides the students with an alternative to the pervasiveness of Бtelevision cultureБ with its immediacy and, often, its shallowness. An enjoyment and appreciation of Literature will give students the ability to develop this into an interest in books and reading as they move away from their studies and into their adult lives. They will have the confidence to approach and tackle new forms of books and writing, since they were exposed to a range of literature during their school days. When studying Literature, students can learn not only language aspects such as vocabulary items but also that language can be used for specific and aesthetic purposes.
Familiarity with the concepts of beat, metre and rhythm can improve their own writing as students are able to appreciate and apply these ideas. Finally, the study of Literature can provide students with a fresh and creative angle with which to approach their studies in particular and their lives in general. So the next time you are reading a newspaper article lamenting the lack of creativity and initiative in the local workforce, remember that in a small way the study of English Literature can help to add a refreshing and further dimension to a personБs life. Related Article: