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What are the uses or functions of literature?


[Reply] #1
08-19-2010 03:39 AM
Joined: 08-19-2010
Posts: 6
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What are the uses or functions of literature?
I am a student in college. We are taking up now about literature. the questions are: What is literature? What are the uses or functions of literature? Enumerate the types of literature. So, I need your help by answering my question. Thanks in advance and hope I can get the answer as soon as possible. Anyway we also taking up but on going about Job, S

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[Reply] #2
08-19-2010 12:38 PM
Joined: 02-15-2010
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Apart from simply providing enjoyment, literature has often functioned as a mirror of its times.

Often issues can be addressed in literature that are more difficult to address elsewhere. For example, literature has been used to advocate for social reforms (e.g. Harriet Tubman’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, Percy Shelley’s early poetry). Literature can also be used for social commentary, which is often done in the form of a satire. Examples would be Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels” and “A Modest Proposal”. Also William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” and Lord Byron’s “Don Juan”. Although Don Juan is not really classified as a satire (as far as I am aware), Byron makes frequent use of satire in it.

Many of Dickens works incorporated social commentary, especially on the condition of the poor/working classes. Quite effective really because those who could afford to buy his works were not of this class and were exposed to the ugly underbelly of 19th c society under the guise of enjoyable reading. Of course those who could read who were poorer often had other means of hearing about the stories or reading them (peering through shop windows, sharing copies, etc.).

Literature can also be used to explore controversial themes in a more indirect way than holding rallies, protests, etc. Examples would be Don Juan (shockingly controversial for its time with its exploration of themes of sexuality) - today nearly any literature that explores LGBT themes or any other somewhat “controversial” issues.

Hope that helps.


Edited 08-19-2010 12:50 PM by Willow
[Reply] #3
08-19-2010 01:19 PM
Joined: 03-01-2010
Posts: 8,500
red line
red line
'in tha phresh'
Rep: 136

to absorb things in an indirect way, but jus note that what you read only shows things said book or whatever wants to show, selective portrayels. see things from all perspectives

[Reply] #4
06-12-2011 06:28 AM
jon van

please hurry

[Reply] #5
10-23-2012 05:47 AM
Joined: 04-22-2011
Posts: 8,391
Harlequin of Hate
Harlequin of Hate
My Hitler toast is also working
Rep: 210

Please don’t bump such old threads! tounge
Thank ya~ ^^




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