The True Importance of Literature

Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not relevant or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. But to me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning about the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world.

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. We need literature to connect with our own humanity. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

The “human condition” is an important part of our understanding of literature. Literary critics often label a piece of writing as literature – and not pulp fiction – if it tries to describe this “human condition.” Essentially, the discussion of the human condition is any thematic concern about human nature, human society or how we live our lives. In other words, it’s about the fundamental issues of human existence. One of literature’s central concerns is to comment on these issues; it might be better at it than psychology or philosophy!

The aspect of literature can show many forms of the human person, and in this case, human greatness would be a significant characteristic of the human person, which can be demonstrated in many ways. It can be shown through courage, virtue, happiness, as well as conquering obstacles in order to fulfill one’s destiny. But I find it is important to understand that literature truly unlocks the culture of the time period, and in a way can give wisdom to the modern society about life. It allows us to interpret our life and emotions and find ways to relate to the story so we, in turn, can reflect. Most importantly, it is a form of entertainment and allows people to use their imagination to visualize the story within their own mind.

All in all, I find the real point of literature is the story of life, and all people want to do is to connect to other human beings, so they find meaning in their own life, finding their own truths. This is how literature can show universal truths about the human person.

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard