How Can Literature Help Us Better Understand Ourselves And Others?

Literature can help us understand ourselves or others by identifying connections with friends and family. A character that you are reading about may remind you of someone in your life. The character may explain how a person is acting or feeling. The Death of a Salesman, Night, and “Mothers”, have each reminded me of my mom in many different ways. They each prompt me to remember my mom and how she influences me, by showing that she is a great mom and has good inspiration.

In reading the first few chapters of the book Of Mice and Men, it has reminded me of my friends and their influences on me. Through the claims and arguments in certain literature, it can help you learn about yourself, help you throughout your issues and be able to help others.

In The Death of a Salesman, Linda has characteristics that remind and do not remind me of my mom. Linda throughout most of the play ignores the certain things that Willy states or does, to her or himself.

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In “Act One” Linda continuously interrupts Willy, Willy dislikes it. He yells at her, “Will you stop!” (Miller 47). Willy is mean to his wife, but Linda stays calm. My mom, unlike Linda, would not have taken this poor tone or behavior from my dad, she would stand up for herself and say something. My mom understands and notices certain things that my dad, my brother, or I do. Linda does not take enough notice of Willy’s suicidal actions and behavior.

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A short time ago, my dad and my brother were trying to carry a bookcase into our house. It was a very heavy piece. My dad thought that it would be a good idea to put blankets underneath the bookcase, so it would be easier to get it out of the car. They took it out and one of the glass pieces fell in and my dad sort of yelled at my mom for not holding them in place. She told him that it was not her fault. Linda, however, would have ignored her husband and not thought about the way he was treating her. My mom is not like Linda.

My mom has another quality, she has the ability to inspire and teach me lessons. She inspires me in a way that I want to be a great mom like her someday. She is humble, kind, and confident and teaches me to be that way as well. I can always benefit from the things she teaches me from day to day. When I was reading “Mothers” by Nikki Giovanni, I thought of my mom inspiring and teaching because she thought of her mom as a “beautiful lady” and she learned the poem from her mother and taught it to her child. She was also inspired by her mother because she wanted to teach the poem to her child. Her child benefited from the teachings from Giovanni’s mother. In the poem I read, Giovanni and her mother grew apart and she did not remember many things about her mother. I wish and hope that my mother and I do not grow apart. My mother is apart of my everyday life. I speak to her frequently and believe that it matters to talk with her. Individuals without mothers or mothers that do not pay attention, have a missing part to them. I think that having a mother is a vital piece of a child or adults life.

After reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel, I believe I can appreciate and understand myself more. Elie lost his faith and hope during the Holocaust. He no longer believed in God nearing the end of the book. I want to ensure that I do not lose hope in the things I love or believe in. I can better understand myself because sometimes life is hard, but I have to make sure that I am continuing my life and not giving up. I learned that even when you believe something is wrong, awful, or just inhumane, you can not always stick up for yourself and what you believe in. Elie did not stick up for his father, or all of the things that were going on. Elie could have gotten killed if he did stick up for everything. Other people did get killed for speaking out loud.

Pieces of this book reminded me of my mom. My mom inspires me because even when her life is hard, she continues to do whatever it is. She is a fighter. Elie Wiesel continued his life and did not give up on his life. At the beginning of the book Elie has faith; in God, himself, other people, but throughout the book, he loses faith. He lost a part of himself. As said by Elie in Night, “Never shall I forgot those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust…” (Wiesel 32). Elie did not stick up for his father when he was beaten, he did not stick up for himself when he was beaten, Elie did not continue praying and being a follower of God, he did not stick for what he believed.

The Holocaust was a very traumatic time for everyone involved. People got killed for no reason, they were starved, and treated like “dogs.” Everyone had to watch what was happening, to his or her friends, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even children. Elie Wiesel survived the Holocaust, but he is still traumatized by the event. He lived to tell his story. Many other people live to tell theirs. If I was in Elie’s position during the Holocaust, I do not know if I could survive. I would try my best and hardest at living, and continuing to believe and have hope. “The only thing that keeps me alive is to know that Reizel and the little ones are still alive. Were it not for them, I would give up,” said by Stein, one of Elie’s relatives (Wiesel 45). The only thing that people could do is believe, try their best, and have hope. Without hope and without trying you could not have survived.

Another group of people that have influenced me in my life are my friends. They have influenced me in my life in different ways. They influence some decisions that I make and my behavior. One of my friends, Katie, has been my best friend for almost ten years. She has also influenced me in my life to get better grades and be more outgoing. An example of her influencing me is last year when we tried out for VIP. We both made it, it was so much fun, and I am glad that she convinced me to do it. We have had many amazing memories.

The friendship between George and Lennie is very different from our friendship. George influences Lennie as well. Lennie looks up to George and follows what he does. However, George is not very fond of Lennie. George says in the book Of Mice and Men, “If I was a relative of yours I would shoot myself.” I would love to be related to some of my friends. We are almost like siblings since we have been together almost our whole lives. I would not be the same without them.

Characters George and Lennie from the book Of Mice and Men are very different. George is a leader he leads Lennie to where they need to go. George also acts like Lennie’s dad, he tells Lennie what to do. As said in the book, “Lennie who had been watching imitated George” (Steinbeck 4). Lennie is a follower, he follows George in what he does. Lennie acts as though he has special needs. He acts very childish and has problems with his speech. George is very responsible, he did not want Lennie taking the work cards because he knew Lennie could forget them. George remembers many things from the past and brings them up in the book as foreshadowing. Lennie is very forgetful, he does not remember his aunt. George and Lennie have a friendship, from since they were younger. Even though they are friends, George takes care of Lennie. ‘An’ why? Because…because I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why” (Steinbeck 14). George started to take care of Lennie after his aunt died. They had an odd friendship ever since.

The main characters from Of Mice and Men are not very similar, but they do have some things in common. Lennie and George both are workers looking for farmlands in California. They are both friends, and each of them influences the other. They both have known each other since childhood. Lennie and George are very hard workers. They each do exactly what they are told.

Throughout reading most of these poems, passages, and books, I have come to understand myself as a person better. Each piece has reminded me of influences in my life. I have learned many of my faults and issues and how to compare literature to real life. 

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How Can Literature Help Us Better Understand Ourselves And Others?. (2022, May 24). Retrieved from

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