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What Is Literature? Essay

What is Literature? Literature is the voice of the times. Literature is something to look back and stay as the voice of the generation. What is literature? That is a question you can ask a thousand times and get back a thousand different answers and opinions in which all could be seen as correct. Literature can only be defined by the people with above average intellect, who grasp the writing concept, and understand literature work. What is literature? Literature is defined, has a history, be written with high intellect, and will forever impact the human race and the people that live through it.

Literature is defined as, “written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit” (Oxford Dictionary). Literature is the historical writings of past civilizations as well as the present that will stay as the voice and life of the people that lived through the time; however, it is the works of extreme literary intellect that stands as the obvious examples of literature works. It’s the views, opinions, and interest of a group of people that is spread in folk tales, poetry, songs, pamphlets, biographies, novels, essays, and articles spreading the overall message to everyone that comes in contact with it.

The impact of a piece of literature work can change the course of history. The Bible may very well be the most influential piece of literature that has ever been produced. Its impact has changed the lives of billions of people over the course of history. Some say the Bible is not literature, for it’s the voice of God. The Bible is an influential writing piece that stands as the voice of the people with extreme intellectual properties that shares the views and opinions of the people that is passed down from generation to generation.

The Bible is the most important historical piece of literature ever written. In order to consider a written piece literature, the work must show that it has a specific view, interest or opinion that expresses a voice or story that can impact the minds of those who read it and receive an immediate reaction. The pieces stand the test of time and show a historical influence to those who read it. Examples such as Hamlet, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Hymn to Beauty, and the Bible all have stood the test of time and shared intellectual views while impacting the people who come in contact with it.

The most important test to see wither a piece of literature work is truly one of great importance is the test of historical influence. Did the piece influence people of its time? Is the piece still receiving reactions from those who read it? English literature will always have a place in our generations and looked back on how we lived our lives. The question to how this generation will be perceived in the future is unknown. Will social media take place of great novels and beautiful poetry?

Will today’s slang be the new edition of the English language tomorrow? This is already seen by the judgment of the Oxford Dictionary adding the words, sexting to describe sexual text messages, LOL and OMG, and the symbol <3 to its next edition dictionary (Gibson). The biggest concern is the direction that this world is going to. It’s how we look upon and value the public images of the people we look up to. Emily Dickinson is replaced by Kim Kardashian and Mark Twain is replaced by Justin Beiber (Hubbard).

The works created by Kim and Justin will not influence the people of the next generations and the value of a good literary piece may be compromised. It is a great shame where in order to read good literature pieces for our English classes, we look to works written hundreds of years ago and not the work created in the world we live in. No historical influence, no great literature pieces. Finally, for a piece of written work to be thought of as literature, the work must be written with high intellect. This is the challenge facing the written works written today.

Today, it is challenged to write your thoughts and opinions in short burst of words and characters that usually need to be in 140 characters or less. Why write out the entire “without” when you can just type “w/o” and mean the same thing (Brotman). The great works of literature have always been written with the highest levels of vocabulary and writing styles. It’s the hidden messages and underlined themes that make a piece of literature so great! It’s like a puzzle waiting to be solved! What is he trying to say? What does she mean in that line?

The best part, is the way an author says one sentence can be interpreted in so many different and unique ways, for it takes great skill and studying a piece of literature that captivates the reader into deep analysis with emotional attachments. The difference between a good writer of literature and a great writer of literature is the lasting impact they leave on the reader.

The ability to make the reader think about the piece way after they put it down, for it’s the lasting impact the writer gives the reader that can change the way the reader views a subject for the rest of the reader’s life.

In conclusion, literature is defined, has a history, is written with high intellect, and will forever impact the human race and the people that lived through it. The opinion of one writer on the exact definition of literature will never be the same as the next.

Different characteristics and attributes given into every piece will decide its fate on wither or not it’s good enough to be unanimously chosen as good literature. The piece needs to share a story or view an opinion of the writer, show great influence, make its mark on history of the generation, and be written with high enough intellect to show it’s true value and importance on the reader.

How can something so well-known and something that is constantly written about have so many debates and opinions on what it really means? It is the great minds who constantly analyze and study literacy pieces so much; they connect with it in a different way. For it’s the way you connect to literature that makes it so special. It’s the way you attach to your favorite pieces that will forever create your own personal reaction to such a simple question.

What is literature? Works Cited Brotman, Barbara. “Word to Your Mother: Slang from the Mouths of Babes. ” Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune, 23 Nov. 2009. Web. 14 July 2013. Carnevale, Alex, and Will Hubbard. “In Which The 100 Greatest Writers In History Take The Stage Once More – Home – This Recording. ” In Which The 100 Greatest Writers In History Take The Stage Once More – Home – This Recording. This Recording, 30 June 2009. Web. 14 July 2013. Gibson, Megan. “Woot! Concise Oxford English Dictionary Adds ‘Mankini,’ ‘Sexting’.

” NewsFeed Woot Concise Oxford English Dictionary Adds Mankini Sexting Comments. Time Magazine, 18 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 July 2013. “Historical Poems. ” Historical Poems. N. p. , 2002. Web. 14 July 2013. “Literature. ” About. com Classic. N. p. , n. d. Web. 14 July 2013. Oxford Dictionary. “Definition of Literature in English. ” Literature: Definition of Literature in Oxford Dictionary. Oxford Dictionary, n. d. Web. 14 July 2013. “What Is Literature? ” What Is Literature? N. p. , n. d. Web. 14 July 2013.


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