Why Literature Matters in the 21-st Century?
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
This is a famous quote by George R.R. Martin (George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons) which rhymes with advocacy of other great leaders like Napoleon, Mahatma Gandhi, Socrates praising literature and its importance in the benefit of mankind and spreading peace in world. But as a matter of fact that none of the productive worker feel the need of literature in this ever changing world. There are plenty of real world examples, which are highly successful in their respective field with very little or no knowledge of literature. Literature is necessarily the spice of life not necessity. There are various reasons why it is essential amongst different age groups especially young adults.
Literature reflects vision of others’ lives and panorama. One of the many benefits is to expand reader’s thoughts like in Alice in Wonderland. She fantasies to be in a different world. While reading one empathizes in others world and expands his own pages of life (Tim Gillespie Dec 1994). Readers sail in the boat of narration to different places, into past, present and future, through various culture and religion, caste creed and sex. Fiction such as Harry Potter can greatly help in shaping young children’s future as they may not fight evil trolls and wizards, but they could face challenges where they will need friends’ help or help them instead as Harry Potter. They may not see themselves defend in an unwinnable trial, but they can appreciate the importance of standing up for what they believe in.
Literature helps lending someone else’s pair of eyes and thus looking solely through their point of view as shown by Shakespeare’s stories which point on both right and wrong, evil and good.
Business writing is all about facts, data, figures and statistics whereas literature is to experience and participate life. It makes issues come live for the readers to experience.
It is rightly said that death toll is a figure for analysis in business but literature reader feels the tragedy of loss.
It’s a common convention that science and literature are two mutually exclusive fields. Well on the contrary, bibliotherapy, a process of using books to help those suffering from mental disorders, surely exposes the failed conceived notion about the misconception.
History and Civics
The sharp decline in young readers has resulted in lack of ideals of democracy. The threatening aspect is that they lack historical, political as well as civil awareness (Mark W.Roche). 21st-century requires innovation and creativity for its growth in economy at the same time aggressive reading habits along with imagination is required which is nurtured by literary reading.
Literature has been actively taken up by passive activities such as watching TV or DVDs or even surfing the web. Reading is highly active activity and requires constant and intensive attention along with high usage of memory with imagination.
If all of these conditions sustain to persist for longer duration then this will result to less informed citizens. Our nation will become less informed, inactive, and dependent-minded. These are the qualities that a free, innovative, or productive society can’t afford to lose. The history will diminish if similar conditions persist.
Thus literature acts as promoter for education, culture and history.
Rest is evident with the fact how Greeks were one of the earliest civilization and used to rule the ancient world as they produced renowned and talented academicians and writers with the likes of Socrates, Herodotus, Homer, Aristotle and so on.
George RR Martin (A Dance with Dragons, July 2011)
Mark William Roche (Why literature matters in 21st century, Nov 2004)
Tim Gillespie (Why Literature Matters The English Journal, Vol. 83, No. 8, Literature, Queen of the Curriculum (Dec., 1994), pp. 16-21)
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