I’m trying to learn for my English class and I’m stuck. Can you help?
I want you to think about why we analyze literature. As your text states, there is certainly an entertainment value to being lifted away from our everyday lives and transported into the life of a fictional character via our imaginations. However, beyond entertainment value I want you to think about why we continue to study literature. What is the overall value for the mind in studying stories and how does studying storytelling help our own ability to effectively communicate?
After you have answered each of the questions posed here, I would like you to comment on 2 of your peers’ work that piqued your interest or perhaps that you disagreed with.
Lastly, I would like you to share your own favorite book, just so we can get to know each other a bit better.
We continue to study literature because it allows us to expand our mind beyond our circumstances. It shows us what is possible outside of our little cubicle of a life. We learn through literature that our reality is not necessarily the reality of someone who may be the same age, gender or even nationality. We gain a deeper understanding about life, ourselves and other people around the world.
The overall value for the mind in studying stories is it teaches us critical thinking skills, helps us sharpen our problem solving skills and it opens up opportunities in the professional world. Studying storytelling help our own ability to effectively communicate by expanding our vocabulary and it teaches us how to use words in a particular context.
Literary works give us the ability to escape our reality through imagination. I like how our text describes literary work. It says, “If it is happening in your mind, and you are reading words, you are experiencing what the literature is.” I’ve never heard it said this way myself but as a reader, I certainly can attest to this. One more thing I thought was profound in our text is that participation in literary art is the intersection ofthe writer’s and the reader’s imagination and it is an imaginative collaboration between the two. I love it! This will stick with me forever. I have never heard this before but it describes perfectly what we bring to the table as writers and readers.
I love murder mysteries and though it’s been awhile since I have read one, James Patterson is my favorite author. I love his Alex Cross series and I especially love his Women’s Murder Club series. If I have to name a favorite of his it would have to be Kiss The Girls.
Composing to Communicate: A student’s Guide by Robert Saba
I believe we continue to analyze literature for one of two reasons. The first being to learn. How else are we to learn if we don’t try and see things from another person’s point of view? And as our text tells us, all writing is an attempt to get us to understand a message being told by the writer. So we analyze the who, what and why’s of the writing in order to fully understand the message from the writer’s POV. The second reason we analyze data is to see where we are already right. What I mean is that it is our inherent nature as humans to think we know something. So naturally we will listen to someone tell us something to see if they validate what we already believe to be true. So when we read something, even if it’s not a familiar subject, we go into it with a preconceived assumption of what the facts are. So we then analyze the data to see if it confirms or contradicts our ideas. I believe this is great for our mind because if we allow ourselves to see things from another person’s perspective, it opens our mind up for so much growth. Even if the story confirms what we already believed to be true, by studying literature we can pick up on new ways to express thoughts and ideas. I myself have ready articles in Muscle and Fitness magazine that confirmed what I already knew to be fact, but it was articulated in a way that has helped me to convey the message to my clients in a much more digestible way.
As for my personal favorite book I would have to go with The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It’s an intriguing fable about following your dreams. I once heard Will Smith reference it in an interview as a must-read so I picked it up and it definitely did not disappoint.