Literature, the Essence of Life

Literature, the Essence of Life by Shabnam Sattar

Literature, the Essence of Life | Daily Writeup | Opinions

The article is written by Shabnam Sattar, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali.

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Outline

1- Introduction

Literature is like the lifeblood of man’s thoughts and society, as essential as bread and breath. It has the incredible power to impact people in countless ways, propelling them forward on their journey of personal and societal progress.

2- Understanding the nature and essence of literature

3- How Literature is the Essence of Life

  • ✓ Literature is the instrument of revolution.
    • Case in point: Vladimir Lenin, “Without any revolutionary literature, there can be no revolutionary movement.”  
  • ✓ Literature promotes the value of tolerance.
    • Case in point: William C. Brown, “Religion is only literature, but literature is not only religion.”
  • ✓ Literature promotes the value of tolerance.
    • Case in point: Stephen R. Covey, “We should not only respect the differences of others but also celebrate them.”
  • ✓ Literature is exhibited as the mirror of society.
    • Case in point: De Bonold, “Literature is the expression of society.”
  • ✓Literature reflects and promotes humanity.
    • Case in point: Tolstoy, “Without literature, men would be like wild beasts because it gives an understanding and empathy to the reader.”
  • ✓Literature expands thoughts and creativity.
    • Case in point: Napoleon Hill, “Literature inspires people to be successful in their lives.”
  •  ✓Literature is the vision and hope for the future.
    • Case in point: Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, “The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.”

4- Critical analysis
5- Conclusion

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Answer to the Question

Introduction

With the advancement of technology, life changes at a rapid speed. People live each moment of their lives in haste without admiring it. They forget to enjoy the little things that they are blessed with and remain worried. However, literature, an expression of thought, brings people closer to life. It makes them cherish these things that can only be felt. Literature adds emotions and power to words that influence people to perceive beauty in everything. When words are connected, they become a force that mesmerises the readers and becomes a doorway to the world of learning. According to C. S. Lewis, “Literature adds to reality; it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” Nonetheless, some people believe that literature can implant an evil constitution in people’s minds that can inspire passion. However, these people are also fascinated by literature’s capitulating and scintillating expressions. Besides, literature is the expression of an individual’s life and society. It not only gives knowledge of history and social change but also provides the path to life experiences and motivation for goals. Therefore, literature is as vital as bread and breath to sustain life and progress in society. This question critically analyses how literature plays an influential role in human life.

Understanding the nature and essence of literature

To understand the essence of literature in life, it is pertinent to shed light on the meaning, nature, and spirit of literature. Generally, literature is considered a way everything is written or printed. However, in the words of Carl William Brown, “Literature has a multiform essence;first of all, it is not only of writing but also of telling stories, remembering, criticising, amusing, analysing, doubting, creating, inventing, suffering, dreaming, teaching, confronting, and loving in a word being human.” It develops analytical skills in people and helps them appreciate their economic, religious, and political dynamics and the motivation behind their actions or ways of living. As a result, the fact that literature is the essence of life cannot be denied.

How Literature is the Essence of Life?

Literature is the instrument of revolution.

Undoubtedly, human life is manifested in the form of literature. It crosses the boundaries of life and influences it in various ways that are beyond our perception. To begin with, literature acts as a tool to shape the revolution. Through their influential words, ideas, and writing, many writers inspire millions about political turmoil, injustices, and genocidal conquest, spreading awareness among people. In addition, authors use words as weapons in times of social upheaval. These words can both interpret and change the world. Many literary pieces contain high ideas about the struggle for human freedom. For instance, George Orwell’s famous academic work ‘Animal Farm’ is a great revolutionary piece of literature of all time in the Russian Revolution. Besides, Charles Dicken’s ‘The Tales of Two Cities’ depicts the injustices that led to the events of the French Revolution. According to Vladimir Lenin, “Without any revolutionary literature, there can be no revolutionary movement.” Tolstoy’s words are still revered as artistic power against rising societal problems. Consequently, literature acts as fuel for the revolution.

Literature is the essential source of religion.

Over and above, literature is considered the essential source of religion. All the major religious texts, like the Quran, Bible, and Mahabharata, are considered literary masterpieces, inspiring millions of people across the world. The themes that religion contains, such as evil versus good and life versus death, are found in almost all world stories. Furthermore, many events from these religious books are also presented in poems, novels, and plays, such as the Ten Commandments or the story of Adam and Eve. According to William C. Browns, “Religion is only literature, but literature is not only religion.” Many great works on the propagation of religion by famous authors represent rich literature about religion. For instance, Francis Bacon’s famous “Of Atheism” and T.S. Eliot’s “Religion and Literature” highly speak of religious beliefs, negating atheism. For that reason, literature is the source of religion, and it influences thoughts regarding it.

 Literature promotes the value of tolerance.

Furthermore, literature promotes the values of tolerance among people. Literature makes man tolerant of the cultures, beliefs, and perspectives of others. Through literature, people become aware of different cultures and different systems according to which others spend their lives. Moreover, literature teaches people to be more empathetic towards others by showing their points of view, even when they differ. It promotes understanding and challenges negative stereotypes and positive images of different groups of people. According to Stephen R. Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, “We should not only respect the differences of others but also celebrate them.”   Literature teaches the reader what life is for others, helping them understand and respect those around them. As a consequence, literature instils a sense of tolerance among people to cherish the differences.

Literature is exhibited as the mirror of society.

Apart from infusing tolerance, literature serves as the mirror of society. It reflects both the good and bad values of society. Moreover, literature in certain ages has been founded on the thoughts and actions of people and shaped them accordingly. It has a dominant role in the development of society by changing its political system and the view of humans who experience it in their lives. It deeply analyses social issues and provides solutions to them. According to De Bonold, “Literature is the expression of society.” In the reflection of good values, society is emulated but atoned for bad ones. Furthermore, literature takes the real events from society and converts these mundane activities into fiction, presenting them as the mirror through which people may look at their images. Therefore, literature is the reflection of society, which acts for its betterment.

 Literature reflects and promotes humanity.

Moreover, literature is a reflection of humanity and a way to understand each other. It does not talk about material things and money or seek to reap wealth and accumulation. As humans live under the umbrella of feelings,  these emotions and feelings distinguish between humans according to their interests and needs. In addition, literature gives the emotions of caring for the needs of people who long for care, love, and attention. It also helps people understand the nature and conditions that impact human thinking and shape their behaviour. According to Tolstoy, “Without literature, men would be like wild beasts because it gives understanding and empathy to the reader, even for someone who is much separated from him by time and distance, as literature unites humanity.” Literature empowers people with a voice and helps them express their opinions openly, which in turn strengthens the foundations of humanity. Therefore, literature plays a crucial role in the cohesion of humanity.

Literature expands thought and creativity.

In addition, literature is essential to human life as it expands their thoughts and creativity. It broadens the horizons of the readers and helps them think outside the box. In addition, it not only gives people the power to see the world with a fresh mind but also provides the capability of exploring it from different perspectives. According to Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich,” “Literature inspires people to be successful in their lives.” Literature influences people to do and achieve more. For instance, the Masterpiece of Jack Canefield’s “The Success Principle” tells a reader about success as an art and as a science. The famous book “Alchemist” by Polo Coelho also encourages people to keep struggling despite the hardships coming their way and to chase their dreams. Therefore, literature enlightens and motivates people to achieve success in their lives.

Literature is the vision and hope for the future.

Last but not least, literature is the vision and hope for the future. With fast technological advancements, people have become less sensitive to literal works. People are living in fast-moving societies, moving away from literature in its inclination, culture, and vision of life to a society sinking in materiality and dryness of life. Moreover, technology has deprived people of expressing their feelings and depth of ideas, reducing their level of creativity. According to Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, “The decline of literature indicates the decline of a nation.” Literature adds value to life and contributes to shaping the construction of man in every age. It is a grave mistake for humans to believe that literature is a luxury that can be abandoned or possessed. Therefore, literature serves as a source of creativity in the modern era.

Critical Analysis

From the above discussion, it is inferred that literature holds a great place in man’s life. Literature admires the beauty of nature and the importance of emotions. Through literature, words have become a powerful weapon to bring about change in society, maintain unity, and convey the message of religion and revolution. In addition, literature changes the minds of young people and motivates them to be successful. Undoubtedly, literature helps people comprehend modern-day issues, conflicts, and sufferings. Therefore, the role of literature is significant in human life and society, which is expanding with changing times.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, literature is deemed a collection of languages through which many works have been done in different ages, cultures, and societies by different authors and scholars. It consists of words rich in feelings and emotions. It gives readers a sense of understanding themselves and others and creative skills. Furthermore, it informs people about society and history. Through the writings of great authors such as Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, and Paulo Coelho, people have been blessed with valuable literary sources. Besides, literature contributes to national cohesion, social progress, and change in society. As a result of the breadth of knowledge it gives, the moral values it carries, and the perspective it provides, literature is truly the essence of life.

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