What Do You See As The Social Function(S) Of Literature? The Essay Should Include Attention To At Least Two Of The Prescribed Texts.

1837 words - 7 pages

Often, it is easy for us to take for granted much of the literature we read as simply a source of amusement or entertainment. There is no denying that, in most cases, this is one of the main purposes for which literature is written. However, the majority of literature also performs many social functions which can have a vast impact on the way members of the community live there lives and interact with those around them."Literature is part of the fabric of society" (DU Study Guide, 2003, p.24). Any form of literature, be it a Greek tragedy, a medieval romance, a Shakespearian play, or even a fairy tale, is coloured by the social experiences of the author. We all belong to a particular social or ethnic group, are in a particular class (whether we like the idea or not) and live in a particular time. These things help to make up the world we know, and shape our attitudes, values, beliefs, and opinions. Our every thought and action is influenced by our experiences within the society in which we live. Therefore it is impossible for an author to create a piece of work that does not reflect these influences in some way.This leads us to an important social function of literature. Literature works to reflect and examine the ways in which particular societies or social groups view the world. This, in turn, helps us to better understand other cultures, classes and/or times. By questioning beliefs and attitudes, and examining differences and similarities between cultures and classes we are able to gain an increased understanding of "the range of human experience in its continuities and possibilities" (Lyle, 1996, p2).Another, possibly negative, social function of literature however, is that it often "makes the agenda of the privileged classes the agenda of the culture" (Lyle, 1996, p4.). Literature is only created by those who are privileged enough to have the education and resources to produce it. It is created by these people and for these people. Therefore although it is representative of certain aspects of society it can never truly reflect the whole of the community because it is only the attitudes and ideas of the dominant majority.Literature produced during the Middle Ages such as The Quest for the Holy Grail and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for example shows particular attention to such things as "lineage, aristocratic bearing, courtly manners, and rich clothing" (Jackson, 1960, 59). While these texts present this as being important in everyday life, these things would be of little or no importance to a member of the working class struggling simply to earn a living.Because literature is usually representative of the major (or at least most powerful) part of society however, its social function often extends to being almost a guide or authority on behaviour and morals that were/are valued by the community. Much literature, particularly in the middle ages, has been produced by authors who "felt that society needed their help in overcoming its evils"...

Find Another Essay On What do you see as the social function(s) of literature? The essay should include attention to at least two of the prescribed texts.

What Do You See in The Mirror?

895 words - 4 pages Student: Diana YoungCourse: 21st Century Skills: Information and Communication LiteracyDate: 7 September 2013Professor: Colin WitherspoonWhat Do You See in The Mirror?Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and were proud of what you saw, just to step on the scale and feel like someone is playing a trick on you? Weight is a funny thing when you are looking at the aspect of being healthy and having a productive life. Being considered a

With reference to at least four poems by Thomas Hardy, what do you think are the most notable features of Hardy's use of language and metrical form?

602 words - 2 pages With reference to at least four poems by Thomas Hardy, what do you think are the most notable features of Hardy's use of language and metrical form?With a poet as prolific as Thomas Hardy, ample material is provided for academics to both praise and criticise. F.R. Leavis famously described Hardy as 'making a style out of stylelessness' (quoted from Haslam & Turton, language section). His poetry is certainly striking to the reader for its

what anthropology is to you and how this course has affected how you see the world... Include concepts such as ethnocentrism, cultural relativity, race, tolerance, globalization

992 words - 4 pages had never done fieldwork, but would make assumptions. According to Stephen Lazier, in the introduction to his new collection one could easily arrive at the impression that, in the discipline of anthropology as a whole, anthropology of religion is currently on the run. It is difficult to find programs that take anthropology of religion seriously where can one do graduate work, where can one find professors for whom religion is a primary concern? But

Do you feel that Computer generated imagery (CGI) should be the way forward for the film industry? Base your argument on at least two theoretical frameworks

3137 words - 13 pages world is formed automatically, without the creative intervention of man."Films should present space and time as continuous and whole, as they appear in external reality, so that viewers are forced to immerse themselves in the image and select for themselves what to see".Andre BazinBazin showed great admiration for neo-realist films which contrast expressionist films by asking the actor, often the man in the street rather than the professional actor

What do the texts you have studied have to say about the positive and/or negative effects of institutions?

1131 words - 5 pages actions. Sam is the character who has had the most significant impact on Brett's attitude. He subtly teaches Brett to take responsibility. "If you want to break the rules, you have to face the consequences". Monk depicts Sam as a very stern and wise character from the outset of the play thus his words have a tremendous effect on Brett. "Only you can change your life Brett". This is yet another attempt by Sam to reform Brett and we later see that his

The Conventions of the Soap Opera Genre with Reference to at Least Two Programmes

3986 words - 16 pages The Conventions of the Soap Opera Genre with Reference to at Least Two Programmes The soap opera genre originated in America in the 1930s as a radio programme. It was targeted at housewives who tuned in while doing their household chores. Soaps included many domestic issues to keep the audience interested. The name “soaps” came from advertising slots between programmes. As the soaps were aimed at housewives, the

The Field of Radiology: What role do you see for yourself?

1027 words - 4 pages The Field of Radiology: What role do you see for yourself? The role of the radiologist is one that has undergone numerous changes over the years and continues to evolve a rapid pace. Radiologists specialize in the diagnoses of disease through obtaining and interpreting medical images. There are a number of different devices and procedures at the disposal of a radiologist to aid him or her in these diagnoses’. Some images are obtained by using

'Whenever we look at texts from the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century what we see is masculinity in crisis'("portrait of the artist as a young man" James Joyce)

1625 words - 7 pages Masculinity and the male finding his place in society or the world play an important role in literature of this period. In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man we are confronted with a depiction of masculinity at its worst. Through the character of Stephen Dedalus, confused and unsure of where he fits in to his society, we are presented with an often uncomfortable journey of discovery and self realisation.Stephen's life works through many

Is a Jewish, Christian or Muslim state possible in the modern world? Answer with reference to at least two of the religion (all three if you like)

2801 words - 11 pages it necessary to separate religion and politics in order to free government and science and technology from the constraints of religion. Thus as Christianity and the West colonized the world they brought their political ideals with them promoting democracy and capitalism which were to survive to become the predominant ideology in the modern world. But what did this mean for the other monotheistic religions, Judaism and Islam in the modern era

What do you See

709 words - 3 pages rather than actually getting to know the person. “When you see someone who is different from you,” writes Dean, “do not think of him or her as something, but as someone.” (276). It was brought to my attention that more than just a few people stereotype or profile. At the beginning of the reading it says some very common stereotypes. “White kids are rich, snobby, silver spoon brats who get what they want when they want it, but they are smart. Black

Discuss the way one or more groups of Australians are represented in film and to what extent this representation reflects wider social attitudes. Refer to at least one feature film you have studied

1319 words - 5 pages representations of women in Sunday Too Far Away (hereby known as STFA) do to some extent reflect the social attitudes of that time period. The two main female characters, Ivy and the cocky's daughter are greatly marginalised in STFA. Even though both characters are marginalised, they do show signs of wanting to be seen as not accepting the social attitudes. This is evidently presented in the cocky's daughter. The cocky's daughter is a young and

Similar Essays

What Connections Have You Found Between The Ways In Which Duffy And Pugh Write About Social Problems? In Your Response, You Must Include Detailed Critical Discussion Of At Least Two Of Duffy’s Poems.

2115 words - 8 pages Amy Asher AS Poetry Mrs LawrenceWhat connections have you found between the ways in which Duffy and Pugh write about social problems? In your response, you must include detailed critical discussion of at least two of Duffy's poems.Education for Leisure, ridicules the government and education. Writing during the 1980's employment rates were exceedingly high and Duffy talks of society in a critical way. Another poem by Duffy, Making Money, is a

Crime And Punishment: Do You Agree With The Moral "Crime Does Not Pay"? Refer To At Least Two Texts In Your Answer

618 words - 2 pages in organised crime depends just as much on who you know as on what you're prepared to do or what talents you might have.It's all very well knowing that you can buy a kilo of cocaine in Colombia for £2,000 and sell it in London for nearer £40,000 but unless you have the connections to buy the stuff and bring it into the country, it's a business idea that will never get off the ground. So at aged under 30 most criminals are still doing

Crime And Punishment: Do You Agree With The Moral "Crime Does Not Pay"? Refer To At Least Two Texts In Your Answer

1929 words - 8 pages orders. He hangs up three kneading-troughs in the attic which are to be used as boats and at night the three of them get in their boats. The carpenter falls in a deep sleep after all his work so he doesn’t know the two lovers have secretly gone downstairs to bed. However Absalon, a young parish clerk who is in love with the carpenter’s wife, hears that the carpenter hasn’t been to work since Saturday. He uses this as an opportunity

In The Texts You Have Studied This Year Have You Found That Criminals Have Received A Fair Punishment? Refer To At Least Two Texts In Your Answer

3115 words - 12 pages , worthy gentlemen, meant for punishment.” She thinks Hester is “laughing in the faces of our godly magistrates.” (p54) Another is livid at Hester’s “light” punishment:“At the very lest, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead (…) little will she care what they put on the bodice of her gown! Why, look you, she may cover it with a brooch, or such like heathenish adornment