How Literature Influences Life

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Offline Shamim Ansary

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How Literature Influences Life
« on: April 27, 2010, 01:20:40 PM »
Ahemed Shamim Ansary

In ancient Greece, Plato wanted to oust the poets (in great sense, people involved in literature) from his Ideal State for their imaginative thinking instead of practical. However, it could not be possible as it surmounted all the barriers with its emphatic force of diversification, amplitude and depth of impact. So, after the sequential elapse of time, it is proved that, literature definitely has profound sway upon life to a large extent.
 
Moral values are the élan vital or the driving force of a life. These moral or ethical senses are sometimes largely grown or nourished or sometimes rectified in the literature of that very time. Thus, literature has a powerful impact upon life of any society. Lord of the Flies provides us the implied morale that— good and evil are not here and there, they lie in our souls. Shakespeare also believed that there is nothing good and bad in the earth; our thinking makes a thing so.

Philosophical thoughts are considered as the most ancient pensive creativity. Literature has also emerged from creativity. Literature enhances creativity. Literature and life of a society reflect upon each other: Life moulds literature of a society and literature reflects the life pattern of any society. In most cases, literature doesn’t render economical benefit. Yet, it is closely related to the heritage, culture and social-political-religious aspects of life. We come to know about the intimate relationship between the regal king and kinsmen, their festivals, gorgeous feasts, pompous castle, agony for the departed close ones in poems like The Seafarer” or “The Wanderer”. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales chalks out the society of the medieval period.

Religion leads life of a human being in a rectified way. Literature deals with ethics of various religions and thus possesses a grave influence upon individuals. Pilgrim’s Progress Allegorically states the journey to the life hereafter. “The Dream of the Roods”, a poem of the ancient time, deals with the religious Christian vigour while “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer” articulate pagan and Christian belief simultaneously alongside other description of social aspects. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, we come to know the cause behind the fall of human from the Heaven following the wrath of the God upon man’s sin. It tells us that, Satan instigates us to undermine our religious belief. Later, In Paradise Regained, we are taught that, through the earnest repentance, we can regain the grace of the merciful God. In this way, literature can work to alert human sect against Gods’ wrath or self unscrupulousness and vehemence.

Men can commit a sin when the devilish part of his soul dominates upon him. Sometimes, unintentional sin generates prick of conscience. The Omnipotent is very kind. The sinners can seek pardon to get rid of his retribution. According to the speech of Scriptures or belief of morality and society, it is deemed that the sinners would taste redemption through condign penalty. S. T. Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner can be the best example of it. Sometimes, man has to be submissive to the Almighty if the solemn plea of a humble human being is pictured in literature; George Herbert’s “Pulley” is an example.

It is a gospel truth that— time spares nobody. Literature helps us to remind that fact. Beowulf pictures the life of a valiant warrior protagonist who triumphs the consecutive fierce battles but eventually defeated to the elapse of time. We realize the cruelest philosophy of life— time spares nobody. This epic of the ancient time also deals with triumphant of the protagonist who faces all reality with courage, patience and according to the situation. Thus, literature teaches us some encouraging lessons. Lord Tennyson’s “Tithonus” deals with human limitation and the powerful influence of time. “Ulysses’’ teaches us not to leave anything until the goal is achieved. Thus, literature influences people to enhance their endurance, spirit and aspiration.

Irrational activities of human sects are proved to be devastative. Homer’s epic Iliad narrates the mythological story where gods and human fight side by side and thus a huge city collapses and a huge bloodshed occurs. Lord of the Flies also depicts almost the same story where we see how devastating a civilization can be for their self doom.

Trait varies from human to human. Shakespeare envisaged this fact a long time ago and showed us universal aspects of human psychology like love, hatred, passion, jealousy, anger, ambition, greed, lust, indecision, patriotism, conspiracy, hot-headedness, revengefulness, humour, unscrupulousness— which can force any human to face a tragic doom from regal status. Thus, by showing psychological affinity, a common man is similar to a man from blue blood. Ambition is an awesome aspect of humanity. Considerate people are never proud of his achievement. Christopher Marlowe shows the deadly fate of a person who transgress his limit in Doctor Faustus.

Love vibrates human mind significantly. None can live without live. Theme of love is lavishly depicted in the literatures of different ages. Seventeenth century poet A. Marvell in his remarkable “The Definition of Love” reveals the passion of a lover’s heart. Marlow’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Beloved” can be another example of the commitments of a lover. Thus, the theme of love is nurtured and pinpointed in literature.

Mourning for the departed consanguine is an instinct trait of human being. Some literatures largely deal with the expression of personal agony for the nearest and dearest ones. Masterpiece Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a revelation for those candid, rustic departed souls who left the world before proving their potent. In Memoriam is a sorrowful narration of a dead friend.

As an educative source, literature plays a significant role upon human. Literature works with direct or implied moral in its regard. A great deal of examples can be drawn from different genres. Thus, literature is an emphatic force of education. For example, The Old Man and the Sea teaches the reader what should be a man’s activity under the clutch of danger and how a man should struggle to reset his fortune. Return of the Native of Thomas Hardy deals with the morale how a man should confront with reality as it is.

Appreciation of art is a part of intellect. Literature evokes the dormant sense of beauty through its artistic representation. Aestheticism is far away from coarse sensuality or poignant vulgarity. Thus, one’s soul can be rectified by the enkindling of beautification. James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a good example of distinguishing the art of soul and corporeal desire of lust. It reveals that art is sublime, spiritual and above all vulgarity. ‘A thing of beauty is joy forever’— believed sensuous poet of nature John Keats.

War-ridden modern era has been witnessing un-stability of every kind. T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is an exemplary reflection of this suffocating time. It yells on sexual perversion, spiritual hollowness and ethical bankruptcy after the devastated World Wars. At the same time, this masterpiece draws solution from Eastern Upanishad to surrender, control thyself and be compassionate to make an upheaval from chaotic abyss of every kinds. It avows that, the betterment of human civilization is in our hand—through our individual and reciprocal endeavour and will. Right at this apocalyptic moment, it can be our prime and universal motto to save our darling world from the ultimate doom.

There are lots of incongruities here and there in society. Satiric literature like, Animal Farm or Gulliver’s Travels is a kind of protest against the absurdity of society. This kind of literature thrashes the vice or folly of human race. Indirectly, satiric literature is pointed to rectify the incongruities in human characters through repartee and banter. Socio-economic, cultural, political and individual life is under intense scrutiny of these literatures.

Probably, one of the most influential aspects of literature is to broaden vision of the readers. It helps to make a person better. It motivates people towards tolerance and inculcates the sense of justice in Human soul. In ancient Greek literature like Oedipus Rex, sense of justice evokes in fate-bound protagonist Oedipus, and he punishes himself following his sense of guilt by self-blinding and prolonged self-banishment.

Literature is a means of reading-- reading for pleasure. A general reader can attain delight from some light literature as well as from thought provoking one. Sherlock Holms, The Mysterious Island, Harry Potter or the Mythological writings is a good example that fulfills the appetite of readers of all kinds. Aesop’s Fable is full with advice for the readers.

Through literature, life of the individual as well as the whole civilization can be enlightened. Alexander Pope’s magnum opus The Rape of the Lock believed in the education of social morality, classic culture; it denounces and satirizes the feminine sham egoism; it fights against social corruption and debasement. T. Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, H. Ibsen’s A Doll’s House or Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment can be the announcement of feminine suppression and liberation simultaneously.

Patriotism is one of the inevitable, prerequisite traits of human. A great deal of examples on patriotic issue can be drawn from different literatures— National anthem written by Tagore or poem ‘Biddrohi’ by Nazrul can be a few examples of patriotism.

So, it is transparent that, literature shows versatile dimension & deals with every aspect of life more or less. One point is to be mentioned, the viewpoint of grasping and the degree of infusing in the conscience of the same literary work can be different in case of different people from different social, political, economical or intellectual background. There is a lot of stimulating ingredients in literature that can influence life. One has to grab that accordingly.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 05:01:38 PM by Shamim Ansary »
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Offline shibli

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You are what you study
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 04:01:09 PM »
THE prime minister's directive to provide free education for all students at public institutions from primary to university level is undoubtedly a very bold step taken by any head of government in Bangladesh so far. Needless to say, this program will not cover privately run schools, colleges and universities. Even then, the number of students to come under this plan would be over 4 million considering that at present the total number of students in all private and public educational institutions from primary to university level numbers is close to 8.5 million. What is more, the prime minister also has a plan to provide stipends to meritorious students among those that already receive free education.

This is good news indeed for the parents and guardians from poorer households, since most of them cannot afford to bear the educational expenses of their children studying at the government-run schools and colleges even though those fees are not high as privately run educational institutions. Therefore when free education is finally introduced educational expenses will not cause guardians and parents distress.

While the prime minister's decision is a highly commendable one in spirit, there is still scope to rethink certain aspects of this decision. There is no denying that free education from the primary to the secondary to the higher secondary levels is highly desirable for students before they enter the job market. But questions would still arise as to why the education has to be free for one who has chosen to pursue one's academic career at the graduate or the post-graduate level?

The holder of a bachelor or post-graduate degree from a university belongs to the class of people who are considered to have achieved excellence in arts, science or any other field of study. They may pursue still higher education from local and foreign universities. And producing scholars holding masters or higher degrees at the expense of the public exchequer hardly makes much sense when the country actually needs a large army of technically trained people to operate the rising number of mills, factories and farms and at different other business enterprises.

If education is made free up to the master's level, then the tendency of every parent would be to provide his or her child with the highest available degree in the country. And that would create a larger number of highly educated youth, many of whom would be without jobs, while some would have to take jobs that do not match their specialisation, let alone those who would have to hide their real qualifications to get an odd job.

It cannot, however, be said that the students or their parents are responsible for this situation. In truth, they simply follow the dominant trend of society and do what others are doing.

Here, if anything, the priorities and focus of our entire educational system are to blame. We hardly understand the significance of graduate and post-graduate education. One cannot, however, blame these job seekers, who without question desperately need jobs. But what about the organisations that put out advertisements asking for masters or equivalent degrees for jobs that hardly require that kind of qualification? The sooner such practices go, the better.

Other than for teaching jobs at colleges and universities or in positions at public or private organisations that need scholarship in a particular field, one wonders what a master of science or arts is supposed to do at a desk job in a firm or public office where a higher secondary level education is sufficient.

Due to such upside-down priorities in the education sector, every year colleges and universities are producing large numbers of graduates and post-graduates degree holders, most of whom find it hard to land even the most ordinary job, let alone jobs that suit their qualifications.

On the other hand, industries and different businesses often run short of skilled and technically trained people. The story is the same in the case of migrant workers. When overseas employers look for skilled workers from us, we cannot fulfil their demands. People with general education, even those with higher qualifications, do not serve their purpose.

Under these circumstances, the government would do well to design the education policy in such a manner that gifted students may get the opportunity to complete higher degrees under state patronage. On the other hand, the public institutions of higher learning should charge the students for their education, if they so decide. At the same time, the government should encourage vocational education and establish more public institutions that provide courses on different trades, modifying them to meet the requirements of the local and overseas job markets and extend the state's largesse to those institutions and their students. That would serve the people and the nation best.

Syed Fattahul Alim is a Senior Journalist.
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline Shamim Ansary

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 09:23:05 AM »
I think, in all sphere of life, espacially in all parts of education, literature should be infused partially. It really helps to fortify morality.
"Many thanks to Allah who gave us life after having given us death and (our) final return (on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)) is to Him"

Offline shamsi

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 02:18:55 PM »
From my own experience,I can say that people from Literature background can fathom life more keenly than people from other stream...

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 01:16:46 PM »
Why is it that a play can tell a story in far fewer words than a novel ? Illustrate your answer with reference to particular plays and novels

The fundamental difference between a play and a novel is that in one the actors present themselves and act and speak what is en the play. In a novel except for the contrived conversations et is only a narration. The flesh and blood have to be supplied by the novelist to create an atmosphere. In a play emotions are almost seen (even while reading) but in a novel they are not specially displayed. In a play, the events are not isolated islands; one sees the direct link. In a novel one has to go about looking for the events. If a single illustration could help, it is like this; a play is like being at a shop and the novel is like going to a shop. The things are there in the one instance and in the other one has to visualize and wait to move. The play has a more direct appeal to our senses than the novel.

There is a famous lore in 'Julius Caesar'. The conspirators struck Caesar and among them was Brutus, the one time friend of Caesar. When Caesar saw Brutus striking him he said, 'Et tu Brute! Then falls Caesar'. He dies so saying. These sex words describe the whole world of relations between the two and the emotions involved. If it were to be a novel, the whole situation may require not six words but six pages. At the hands of say Scott, Hardy and others it would have taken even a whole chapter.

Again let us look at the pitiable Othello who had murdered his wife out of jealousy. Having killed her, he says en self pity, 'I have no wife'. Those who have been following the play thus far can easily understand Othello's mental torture. These words would be meaningless in a novel unless description followed as to how he wept, howled and tore his hair. The play shows the act but the novel only describes.

'Oliver Twist' is a powerful novel indeed and Dickens has shown his deft hands there; but the same in the form of a play is more powerful. Just imagine the scene where Oliver asks for more. Dickens has, in fact made it more dramatic; but the scene in a drama can be shorter and more effective. The play allows you to visualize and almost you are a party there but it is different in the case of a novel.

Satires, puns and jokes are more poignant in a play than in a novel. We enjoy a Falstaff, a Touchstone or a Jaques in their flesh and blood in the play. There is some identity and there is sympathy. In the play you are not told certain things but you are an unconscious actor, never so in the case of a novel.

In the novel the climax is worked out very quickly and one need not wait for hours to see the end coming. You sense it and is ready for the end to come. In the case of the novel the climax and the end are far apart. This can be seen in 'Hamlet', 'King Lear' or 'Macbeth'.

In a novel small things do not play any role at all as in the case of a play. A kerchief, a chain and a flower may be almost a character. Thus the kerchief plays a role in Othello, the chain in 'As You Like It'.

Comparison and contrasts are brought out efficiently in a play not so easily in the novel. Characters small and big are there to see side by side, one acting as a foil to another. Thus we find in Adam, the old servant of Orlando who is faithful and the treachery of Oliver.

In short, a play while it economizes on words can illuminate the characters much better than the characters in the novel. While a novel is like an intricate canvas with all its magnificence only an art critic can appreciate and comprehend. A play is like the laughter of a child or a tear in the eye of one's beloved which requires no explanation.
          
          
          
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline shibli

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 04:37:46 PM »

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline bidita

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 05:32:01 PM »
Thank you both of you

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned the hard way that some poems dont rhyme, and some stories dont have a clear begining middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the most of it without knowing whats going to happen next.
“Leisure without literature is death and burial alive.”
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 07:15:48 PM by bidita »
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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 12:28:25 AM »
if you want to more things ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Offline shibli

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2011, 06:29:28 PM »
    HAMLET:
    To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    

What Hamlet is musing on is the comparison between the pain of life, which he sees as inevitable (the sea of troubles - the slings and arrows - the heart-ache - the thousand natural shocks) and the fear of the uncertainty of death and of possible damnation of suicide.

Hamlet's dilemma is that although he is dissatisfied with life and lists its many torments, he is unsure what death may bring (the dread of something after death). He can't be sure what death has in store; it may be sleep but in perchance to dream he is speculating that it is perhaps an experience worse than life. Death is called the undiscover'd country from which no traveller returns. In saying that Hamlet is acknowledging that, not only does each living person discover death for themselves, as no one can return from it to describe it, but also that suicide os a one-way ticket. If you get the judgment call wrong, there's no way back.

The whole speech is tinged with the Christian prohibition of suicide, although it isn't mentioned explicitly. The dread of something after death would have been well understood by a Tudor audience to mean the fires of Hell.

The speech is a subtle and profound examining of what is more crudely expressed in the phrase out of the frying pan into the fire. - in essence 'life is bad, but death might be worse'.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/385300.html
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline shibli

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 06:31:55 PM »
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and
waste its fragrance on the desert air.

The accomplishments or good actions of some people may go unnoticed by many.

It means that there are geniuses, great beauties, moral leaders, people with excellence of many different kinds who never have the chance to offer their special kind of grace to the larger world. They live out their lives in a small, distant place, whereas their talent might have enriched the lives of many others, had it become known.
Those who worship the natural elements enter darkness (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). Those who worship sambhuti sink deeper in darkness. [Yajurveda 40:9]; Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.

Offline Razon Mahmood

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2011, 01:31:02 PM »
Literature includes prose (novel, novella, short stories etc), poetry, drama, essays etc which are written based on philosophy, art, history, religion, culture, science etc.  Literary works are portrayals of the thinking patterns and social norms prevalent in society. They are the depiction of the different faces of common man's life.

For example, when think about Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” reminds us inevitability of fate, Herman Manville’s “Moby Dick” the power of nature, William Shakespeare’s “Romeo Juliet” true love, “Macbeth” the consequences of greed, Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cites” the consequences of abusing power, Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and The Sea” & “The Sun Also Rises” stoic nature and struggle of life, James Joyce’s short story “A Painful Case” loneliness of a person and needs of a good company to stay alive, Jean-Paul Sartre's paly "The Respectful Prostitute" ugliness of racism, S.T Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” sin and redemption etc. Reading such great literature and poetic works shape a person’s character and help one to understand life. Moreover, biography and auto-biography of eminent people of the world who made a valuable contribution to the society also inspire the readers. Essays on politics, psychology and society make people to view the life in a new way (Edward W. Said, Avram Noam Chomsky, Sigmund Frued).  

Literature helps a person take a closer look at the different aspects of life. In many ways, it can change one's perspective towards life. I think Literature is a great source of understanding people, culture, history, society etc and it enriches our living. If we can take the positive aspects of literature we can live better.    
  
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 11:12:44 AM by Razon Mahmood »
You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down-Charles Chaplin

Offline Antara11

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Re: How Literature Influences Life
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 08:55:30 AM »
Knowledgeable post. Really nice to know all these idea about life and literature.

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