Importance Of English Literature Essay

910 words - 4 pages

1TrailWesley TrailENG 200 - Dr. Berry10 December 2012 - Final PaperThe Importance of English Literature English 200 is designed to introduce students to various forms and styles of English Literature. As the course progressed, our class read classics such as The Odyssey, Dante's Inferno, Heart of Darkness, and Song of Myself by Walt Whitman. We also dabbled into more modernized pieces of literature such as Divine Right's Trip, The Poisonwood Bible, Linden Hills, and my personal favorite-Howl. Each piece of literature is composed of various literary elements that are essential to developing as a stronger reader, which is what I believe to be the primary focus of this course. English 200 allows students to read effective and thought-provoking works of literature. Although we (students) may not be able to fully understand every piece we read, this allows us to discuss our thoughts amongst each other and develop a greater understanding of the author's viewpoint. In doing so, each of us will acquire greater critical thinking skills that will be useful in all majors.Literary elements are crucial to understand in order to fully comprehend the material thought in this course. Understanding these elements allow students to grasp the author's perspective fully. For example, we discussed in class the various types of classic poems; one of these types was an epic poem. Epic poems are verse poems written about heroes and nations that usually include significant deeds and events performed by a particular character. The Odyssey is the poster child for the epic poem. It describes the journey of a Greek ruler, Odysseus, who is travelling home after a war and battles many obstacles getting there. Coincidently, Divine Right's Trip presents a modern, paralleled version of Homer's magnum opus. For instance, both Homer and Gurney Norman used a "stream of consciousness" style of writing that gave insightful, first-hand accounts of main character's perspective. The plot-events that make up a story-describes the journey of a young, troubled hippie who is searching for his place in life while overcoming obstacles as well as Odysseus. Reading these two particular novels allowed us to examine the struggles of two very unlike time periods that simultaneously contained similar correlations.Along with furthering our understanding of literary elements, we also expressed our personal views about topics through class discussion. These discussions allowed us to openly express our feelings about the text and appreciate the views of other students. For example, The Poisonwood Bible is a novel portraying imperialistic America and how American missionaries can potentially impose a threat to the natives of African nations. The discussion in class allowed students to state their own personal objections to...

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