Essay Paper on Literature and It's Effect on Society
It records the thoughts and feelings of great minds
The fact that we always interpret literary works to some extent in thelight of our own concerns -indeed that in one sense o 'our own concerns'we are incapable of doing anything else - might be one reason why certainworks of literature seem to retain their value across the centuries. Itmay be, of course, that we still share many preoccupations with the workitself; but i may also be that people have not actually been valuing the'same' work at all, even though they may think they have. 'Our Homer isnot identical with the Homer of the Middle Ages, no 'our' Shakespeare withthat of his contemporaries; it is rather that different historical periodshave constructed a 'different Homer and Shakespeare for their own purposes,and found in these texts elements to value or devalue, though, not necessarilythe same ones. All literary works, in other words, are 'rewritten' if onlyunconsciously, by the societies which read them; indeed there is no readingof a work which is not also a 're-writing'. No work, and no current evaluationof it, can simply be extended to new groups of people without being changed,perhaps almost unrecognizably, in the process; and this is one reason whywhat counts as literature is a notably unstable affair .
Literature and Society Essay - 1026 Words - StudyMode
Society influences literature in many ways, and the connections of literature with society are integral and pervasive. In fact, the range for social influences on literature is as broad as the entire range of operative social forces: the prevailing system of social organization—including the class structure, the economic system, the political organization and the deeply rooted institutions; the dominant ideas; the characteristic emotional tone; the sense of the past and then pattern of the contemporary realities. There is nothing in the compass of social life that does not play its part—small or large, directly or by deflection, giving literature the impress of its surroundings. The relation between literature and society is highly complex, and it is very difficult to determine which element of society has exerted what influence on literature. We cannot, therefore, afford to isolate a single element in society—whether economic or ideological—and assign to it a causal role in the final determination of literature. The whole of the social process—including material, conceptual, emotional and institutional elements—may be regarded as containing the potential influences determining the direction and character of literature of a period. In each period in the history of a nation, a certain social situation is brought into the area of operative influence, which is different from any other social situation....