What is literature? Nowadays, literature seems to be slowly depleting. Much of this generation’s youth are what we now call, illiterate. The advancements of technologies gradually helped the adolescents to become lazier. For example, text messaging. I know text messaging is a fun and easy way to communicate with your friends, but the amount of laziness teenagers put into it is completely ridicule. Spelling “u” instead of “you” is one example. Another example–by far is the worst for me–is when people cannot distinguish the difference between “you’re” and “your,” or “then” and “than.” I mean come on, how long have the schools been teaching that? And still, the illiteracy continues. This just shows how our generation is downgrading, especially with our education.
“Education is mostly about institutions and getting tickets stamped; learning is what we do for ourselves. When we’re lucky, they go together. If I had to choose, I’d take learning.” (Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor)
There are multiple forms of literature, none of which can be solely called original. Assuming much of the world’s things, such as a cellular phone, has no form of originality. For example, only a few days ago Samsung was sued by Apple for an apparent “stolen idea.” Though clearly, they did not steal anything. Visualize most Android devices, they have touch screens, rounded edges, and 4G capability but none complains because no one is really original. Same goes with literature. Twilight for example, it’s a story about a vampire and werewolf with a love twist; someone out there can write a book with the same plot design but a completely different story.
“As you read, it may pay to remember this: there’s no such thing as a wholly original work of literature.” (Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor)
These forms of novels enable us to unlock the full potential of our imaginations. If you’re a very imaginative person, such as myself, you will feel every emotion the protagonist will. You will feel a whole different person, in a whole new place. You will also maintain the ability to find a different side of yourself that you’ve never allowed yourself to experience before not until you have unlocked it through the intense sensations you’re feeling from the book you are reading. Most books portray different roles of emotions from person to person. View the series Lord of The Ring, it gives the reader a variety of emotions ranging from anger to happiness. Some books keeps the reader hooked, despite the fact you may get frustrated and want to stop reading it, you’re unable to because it’s just so good that you anticipate what will happen next.
“The novels we read allow us to encounter possible persons, visions of ourselves that we would never see, never permit ourselves to become, in places we can never go and might not care to, while assuring that we get to return home again.” (Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor)
So what really is literature? We might all have our own opinions on this, but I think it’s safe to say that we can all agree on one thing and that is to help our generation advance in our literature. We need to persevere and strive for success. In order to do this, we need to assist the adolescents to use proper grammar, help them pick up a book instead of their cellular devices, read news rather than tweets, and write essays instead of text messages. But isn’t that what this class is for? To understand literature more, expand our knowledge, and to learn what is important in our lives. I’m looking forward to learning more about what literature really does mean.