In ancient Greece, Plato wanted to oust the poets (in great sense, people involved in literature) from his Ideal State for their imaginative thinking instead of practical. However, it could not be possible as surmounted all the barriers with its emphatic force of diversification, amplitude and depth of impact. So, after the sequential elapse of time, it is proved that, literature definitely has profound sway upon life to a large extent. It is not that, who is not aware about at least a single literature— can not run his life; it is the fact that, he who has come under the rich umbrella of diversified literature, can treat it as an ingredient of persuasion upon his life.
Moral values are the élan vital or the driving force of a life. These moral or ethical senses are sometimes largely grown or nourished or sometimes rectified in the literature of that very time. Thus, literature has a powerful impact upon life of any society. Lord of the Flies provides us the implied morale that— good and evil are not here and there, they lie in our souls. Shakespeare also believed that there is nothing good and bad in the earth; our thinking makes a thing so.
Philosophical thoughts are considered as the most ancient pensive creativity. Literature is also emerged from creativity. Literature enhances creativity. Literature and life of a society reflect upon each other: Life moulds literature of a society and literature reflects the life pattern of any society. In most cases, literature doesn’t render economical benefit. Yet, it is closely related to the heritage, culture and social-political-religious aspects of life. We come to know about the intimate relationship between the regal king and kinsmen, their festivals, gorgeous feasts, pompous castle, agony for the departed close ones in poems like The Seafarer” or “The Wanderer”. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales chalks out the society of the medieval period. Thus, literature depicts culture more or less in different ages.
Religion leads life of a human being in a rectified way. Literature deals with ethics of various religions and thus possesses a grave influence upon individuals. Pilgrim’s Progress Allegorically states the journey to the life hereafter. “The Dream of the Roods”, a poem of the ancient time, deals with the religious Christian vigour while “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer” articulate pagan and Christian belief simultaneously alongside other description of social aspects. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, we come to know the cause behind the fall of human from the Heaven following the wrath of the God upon man’s sin. It tells us that, Satan instigates us to undermine our religious belief. Later, In Paradise Regained, we are taught that, through the earnest repentance, we can regain the grace of the merciful God. In this way, literature can work to alert human sect against Gods’ wrath or self unscrupulousness and vehemence.
Men can commit a sin when the devilish part of his soul dominates upon him. Sometimes, unintentional sin generates prick of conscience. The Omnipotent is very kind. The sinners can seek pardon to get rid of his retribution. According to the speech of Scriptures or belief of morality and society, it is deemed that the sinners would taste redemption through condign penalty. S. T. Coleridge’s The Ancient Mariner can be the best example of it. Sometimes, man has to be submissive to the Almighty if the solemn plea of a humble human being is pictured in literature; George Herbert’s “Pulley” is an example.
It is a gospel truth that— time spares nobody. Literature helps us to remind that fact. Beowulf pictures the life of a valiant warrior protagonist who triumphs the consecutive fierce battles but eventually defeated to the elapse of time. We realize the cruelest philosophy of life- time spares nobody. This epic of the ancient time also deals with triumphant of the protagonist who faces all reality with courage, patience and according to the situation. Thus, literature teaches us some encouraging lessons. Lord Tennyson’s “Tithonus” deals with human limitation and the powerful influence of time. “Ulysses’’ teaches us not to leave anything until the goal is achieved. Thus, literature influences people to enhance their endurance, spirit and aspiration.
Irrational activities of human sects are proved to be devastative. Homer’s epic Iliad narrates the mythological story where gods and human fight side by side and thus a huge city collapses and a huge bloodshed occurs. Lord of the Flies also depicts almost the same story where we see how devastating a civilization can be for their self doom.
Trait varies from human to human. Shakespeare envisaged this fact a long time ago and showed us universal aspects of human psychology like love, hatred, passion, jealousy, anger, ambition, greed, lust, indecision, patriotism, conspiracy, hot-headedness, revengefulness, humour, unscrupulousness— which can force any human to face a tragic doom from regal status. Thus, by showing psychological affinity, a common man is similar to a man from blue blood. Ambition is an awesome aspect of humanity. Considerate people are never proud of his achievement. Christopher Marlowe shows the deadly fate of a person who transgress his limit in Doctor Faustus.
Love vibrates human mind significantly. None can live without live. Theme of love is lavishly depicted in the literatures of different ages. Seventeenth century poet A. Marvell in his remarkable “The Definition of Love” reveals the passion of a lover’s heart. Marlow’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Beloved” can be another example of the commitments of a lover. Thus, the theme of love is nurtured and pinpointed in literature.
Mourning for the departed consanguine is an instinct trait of human being. Some literatures largely deal with the expression of personal agony for the nearest and dearest ones. Masterpiece Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a revelation for those candid, rustic departed souls who left the world before proving their potent. In Memoriam is a sorrowful narration of a dead friend.
As an educative source, literature plays a significant role upon human. Literature works with direct or implied moral in its regard. A great deal of examples can be drawn from different genres. Thus, literature is an emphatic force of education. For example, The Old Man and the Sea teaches the reader what should be a man’s activity under the clutch of danger and how a man should struggle to reset his fortune. Return of the Native of Thomas Hardy deals with the morale how a man should confront with reality as it is.
Appreciation of art is a part of intellect. Literature evokes the dormant sense of beauty through its artistic representation. Aestheticism is far away from coarse sensuality or poignant vulgarity. Thus, one’s soul can be rectified by the enkindling of beautification. James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a good example of distinguishing the art of soul and corporeal desire of lust. It reveals that art is sublime, spiritual and above all vulgarity. A thing of beauty is joy forever— believed sensuous poet of nature John Keats.
War-ridden modern era has been witnessing un-stability of every kind. T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is an exemplary reflection of this suffocating time. It yells on sexual perversion, spiritual hollowness and ethical bankruptcy after the devastated World Wars. At the same time, this masterpiece draws solution from Eastern Upanishad to surrender, control thyself and be compassionate to make an upheaval from chaotic abyss of every kinds. It avows that, the betterment of human civilization is in our hand—through our individual and reciprocal endeavour and will. Right at this apocalyptic moment, it can be our prime and universal motto to save our darling world from the ultimate doom.
There are lots of incongruities here and there in society. Satiric literature like, Animal Farm or Gulliver’s Travels is a kind of protest against the absurdity of society. This kind of literature thrashes the vice or folly of human race. Indirectly, satiric literature is pointed to rectify the incongruities in human characters through repartee and banter. Socio-economic, cultural, political and individual life is under intense scrutiny of these literatures.
Probably, one of the most influential aspects of literature is to broaden vision of the readers. It helps to make a person better. It motivates people towards tolerance and inculcates the sense of justice in Human soul. In ancient Greek literature like Oedipus Rex, sense of justice evokes in fate-bound protagonist Oedipus, and he punishes himself following his sense of guilt by self-blinding.
Literature is a means of reading– reading for pleasure. A general reader can attain delight from some light literature as well as from thought provoking one. Sherlock Holms, The Mysterious Island, Harry Potter or the Mythological writings is a good example that fulfills the appetite of readers of all kinds.
Through literature, life of the individual as well as the whole civilization can be enlightened. Alexander Pope’s magnum opus The Rape of the Lock believed in the education of social morality, classic culture; it denounces and satirizes the feminine sham egoism; it fights against social corruption and debasement. T. Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, H. Ibsen’s A Doll’s House or Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment can be the announcement of feminine suppression and liberation simultaneously.
Patriotism is one of the inevitable, prerequisite traits of human. A great deal of examples on patriotic issue can be drawn from different literatures. National anthem written by Tagore or poem ‘Biddrohi’ by Nazrul can be a few example of patriotism.
So, it is transparent that, literature shows versatile dimension & deals with every aspect of life more or less. One point is to be mentioned, the viewpoint of grasping and the degree of infusing in the conscience of the same literary work can be different in case of different people from different social, political, economical or intellectual background.