Why We Study Literature

Besides the fact that I find reading to be a pleasant way to pass time, I think that literature is worth studying for multiple reasons. Firstly, I study literature because I think it is important to look at things analytically. When you read further into texts, you discover new interpretations and meanings that possibly went unnoticed upon first glance-through. These revelations make the piece more interesting which makes you feel more connected to it. I think that this parallels the real world because often things, such as people and situations, have more to reveal about themselves after a closer inspection. This is in line with the ‘Wisdom’ thesis for why we study literature, which says that reading “literature explores the texture and meaning of human experience in a complex, compelling way, and leads us to insight and rich reflection”. Similar to the ‘language’ thesis, I think that literature is also important to study because it makes us better communicators. Whenever I study a text, I learn new vocabulary and am inspired by how the author conveyed their messages. These new words and terminologies give me new ways to express myself as I go about my day to day life. Literature also helps me understand different time periods in history. Even if a piece is a work of fiction, it can still shed an accurate light on what people of a certain place and time felt were important or entertaining. This is predicted by the ‘ideology’ thesis, which says “we can use literature not only to understand the past and other cultures and classes (and therefore to understand ourselves), but to critique as well” Overall, I am studying literature so that I can engage in conversation about the texts, gain a better understanding of the world I live in and the history that created that said world, and improve the way in which I communicate my ideas.


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