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Literature is important in everyday life because it connects individuals with larger truths and ideas in a
society. Literature creates a way for people to record their thoughts and experiences in a way that is
accessible to others, through fictionalized accounts of the experience.
Literary tradition is both oral and written. Civilizations that existed without a written language still
managed to pass down their stories through oral telling. Many Native American cultures practice an oral
literary tradition. The primary use of literature in ancient settings was to pass down customs, beliefs and
traditions to the younger generations. In more recent centuries, literature has taken on a more
comprehensive role of mirroring society in order for humans to study themselves and understand the
underlying truths common to all people. For students, studying literature is a critical component in
education, as it teaches students to see themselves reflected in art. This allows people to learn about life
and truth. Literature also helps people to see life from the perspective of another. Identity-based literature
teaches the reader what life is like for others, helping them to be more understanding and respectful of
those around them.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows.
It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and
build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look
between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters.
Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth
and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars,
names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world
is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not
know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures
and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living
and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and
reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself:
How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used
literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and
conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and
failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization
of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn
that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature Adds Value

As stated in the quote by C.S. Lewis, literature not only describes reality but also adds to it. Literary works
are portrayals of the thinking patterns and social norms prevalent in society. They are a depiction of the
different facets of common man's life. Classical literary works serve as a food for thought and encourage
imagination and creativity. Exposing oneself to good literary works, is equivalent to providing one with the
finest of educational opportunities. On the other hand, the lack of exposure to good literature is equal to
depriving oneself from the opportunity to grow.
Parts of Literature
Prose, poetry, drama, essays, fiction, literary works based on philosophy, art, history, religion, and culture
as also scientific and legal writings are grouped under literature. Creative nonfiction of the olden times
and literary journalism also fall under literature. Certain extremely technical writings such as those on
logistics and mathematics are also considered as a part of literature.
Literature Impacts Living
Some of the great literary works like the Bible and Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, among
others, provide society with the guiding principles of life. Works by poets like Homer, Plato, Sappho,
Horace and Virgil, Shakespeare's sonnets and notable poetry by W.B. Yeats, John Keats, Wordsworth,
Tennyson, and William Blake, among others, are timeless. They have always amused their readers and
shall continue to. The Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, A Tale of Two Cities, and James Bond Series
are some of the best-selling books of all time that have entertained several generations. While some
literary and poetry works carry life's lessons, many others make us think. Some works are known for the
sheer entertainment they provide, while others intrigue. Many works in literature establish a strong
connect with their audience through the stories they narrate or the message the carry. Readers tend to
associate themselves with the emotions portrayed in these works and become emotionally involved in
them. Literature thus has a deep impact on the readers' minds and in turn, their lives.
Children's Literature
The Adventures of Pinocchio, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Winnie-the-Pooh, as also the
relatively recent Harry Potter Series are some of the greatest works in children's literature. Due to a whole
new world they create through words, or due to their characters that the readers can relate to, these
books attract children.
Literature Helps Understand Life
It is through reading great literary and poetic works, that one understands life. They help a person take a
closer look at the different facets of living. In many ways, literature, in its different forms, can change
one's perspective towards living. Biographies of great people, real-life stories of courage, sacrifice and
other good values never fail to inspire readers. Such works give the masses an insight into the lives of
eminent people, and also serve as a bible of ideals.
It Provides Information
Literature serves as an enormous information base. Research works by famous inventors and literary
works by notable scientists often narrate stories of their groundbreaking discoveries and inferences.
Ongoing developments in the fields of science and technology are documented so that the world can
know about them. Several ancient scriptures relating stories of human evolution and narratives of human
life in those times, have been of tremendous help to mankind. Thus, literature has always served as an
authentic source of information.
Scope of Literature
True, languages are the building blocks of literature. But the study of literature cannot be restricted to only
studying languages. In fact, literature cannot be confined to an educational curriculum. A degree in
language and literature is perhaps not able to provide one with everything that literature can offer. Its
scope is so deep and wide that even a lifetime may not be enough to really 'study' literature.
Literature is Important
For the breadth of knowledge is gives, the moral values it carries, and the enjoyment it provides, literature
is important. An exposure to good literary works is essential at every phase of life as it enriches us in
more ways than one. Literature is definitely much more than its literary meaning, which defines it as 'an
acquaintance to letters'. In fact, it lays the foundation of a fulfilling life. It adds 'life' to 'living'.

Type of literature:

I. Prose

Prose is a form or technique of language that exhibits a natural flow of speech and grammatical
structure. Novels, textbooks and newspaper articles are all examples of prose. The word prose is
frequently used in opposition to traditional poetry, which is language with a regular structure with a
common unit of versebased on metre and/or rhyme. However, as T. S. Eliot noted, while "the
distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is
obscure";[1] developments in modern literature, including free verse and prose poetry, have led to the
two techniques indicating two ends on a spectrum of ways to compose language, as opposed to two
discrete options.

1. Nonfictional Prose: A literary work that is mainly based on fact, though it may contain fictional
elements in certain cases. Examples include biographies and essays.
2. Fictional Prose: A literary work that is wholly or partly imagined or theoretical. Examples are

Genres of Literature

Genres of literature are important to learn about. The two main categories separating the different genres

of literature are fiction and nonfiction. There are several genres of literature that fall under the nonfiction

category. Nonfiction sits in direct opposition to fiction. Examples from both the fiction and nonfiction

genres of literature are explained in detail below. This detailed genres of literature list is a great resource

to share with any scholars.

Types of Nonfiction:

Narrative Nonfiction is information based on fact that is presented in a format which tells a story.

Essays are a short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point. A short literary

composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or


A Biography is a written account of another person’s life.

An Autobiography gives the history of a person’s life, written or told by that person. Often written in

Narrative form of their person’s life.

Speech is the faculty or power of speaking; oral communication; ability to express one’s thoughts and

emotions by speech, sounds, and gesture. Generally delivered in the form of an address or discourse.

Finally there is the general genre of Nonfiction. This is Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life

subject. This genre of literature offers opinions or conjectures on facts and reality. This includes

biographies, history, essays, speech, and narrative non fiction. Nonfiction opposes fiction and is

distinguished from those fiction genres of literature like poetry and drama which is the next section we will


Genres of Fiction:

Drama is the genre of literature that’s subject for compositions is dramatic art in the way it is represented.

This genre is stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and

emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

Poetry is verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that evokes an emotional response from the reader.

The art of poetry is rhythmical in composition, written or spoken. This genre of literature is for exciting

pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.

Fantasy is the forming of mental images with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which

invites suspension of reality.

Humor is the faculty of perceiving what is amusing or comical. Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement

which meant to entertain. This genre of literature can actually be seen and contained within all genres.

A Fable is a story about supernatural or extraordinary people Usually in the form of narration that

demonstrates a useful truth. In Fables, animals often speak as humans that are legendary and

supernatural tales.
Fairy Tales or wonder tales are a kind of folktale or fable. Sometimes the stories are about fairies or

other magical creatures, usually for children.

Science Fiction is a story based on impact of potential science, either actual or imagined. Science fiction

is one of the genres of literature that is set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story is fiction of such briefness that is not able to support any subplots.

Realistic Fiction is a story that can actually happen and is true to real life.

Folklore are songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a person of “folk” that was handed down by word of

mouth. Folklore is a genre of literature that is widely held, but false and based on unsubstantiated beliefs.

Historical Fiction is a story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Horror is an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by literature that is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or

revolting. Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

A Tall Tale is a humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible

with an here of nonchalance.

Legend is a story that sometimes of a national or folk hero. Legend is based on fact but also includes

imaginative material.

Mystery is a genre of fiction that deals with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets. Anything

that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.

Mythology is a type of legend or traditional narrative. This is often based in part on historical events, that

reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the

gods. A body of myths, as that of a particular people or that relating to a particular person.

Fiction in Verse is full-length novels with plot, subplots, themes, with major and minor characters. Fiction

of verse is one of the genres of literature in which the narrative is usually presented in blank verse form.
The genre of Fiction can be defined as narrative literary works whose content is produced by the

imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. In fiction something is feigned, invented, or imagined; a

made-up story.
Poetry (the term derives from a variant of the Greek term, poiesis, "making") is a form of literature that
uses aesthetic and rhythmic[1][2][3] qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism,
and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.
Poetry is literature in meter form. It is a form of written word that has pattern and rhythm and rhyme. It
can be serious or it can be fun. Poetry is as creative as you make it

Poetry is a type of literature based on the interplay of words and rhythm. It often
employs rhyme and meter (a set of rules governing the number and arrangement of syllables in each
line). In poetry, words are strung together to form sounds, images, and ideas that might be too complex or
abstract to describe directly.


Narrative is writing that connects ideas, concepts or events. The definitions below show three important
aspects of narration in storytelling:

1. Autobiography – a detailed description or account of the storyteller's own life.

2. Biography – a detailed description or account of someone's life.
3. Captivity narrative – a story in which the protagonist is captured and describes their experience
with the culture of their captors.
4. Epic – a very long narrative poem, often written about a hero or heroine and their exploits.
5. Epic poem – a lengthy story of heroic exploits in the form of a poem.
6. Fable – a didactic story, often using animal characters who behave like people.
7. Fantasy – a story about characters that may not be realistic and about events that could not really
8. Folk tale – an old story which has been passed down orally and which reveals the customs of a
9. Historical fiction – stories which take place in real historical settings and which often feature real
historical figures and events, but which center on fictional characters or events.
10. Legend – a story that is based on fact but often includes exaggerations about the hero
(e.g. the East African legend of Fumo Liyongo in the coast of Kenya).
11. Memoir – similar to an autobiography, except that memoirs generally deal with specific
events in the life of the author.
12. Myth – an ancient story often meant to explain the mysteries of life or nature.
13. News – information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or
word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.
14. Nonlinear narrative – a story whose plot does not conform to conventional chronology,
causality, and/or perspective.
15. Novel – a long, written narrative, normally in prose, which describes fictional characters
and events, usually in the form of a sequential story.
16. Novella – a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter
than a novel.
17. Parable – a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more
instructive lessons or principles.
18. Play – a story that is told mostly through dialogue and is meant to be performed on stage.
19. Quest narrative – a story in which the characters must achieve a goal. This includes
some illness narratives.
20. Realistic fiction – stories which portray fictional characters, settings, and events that
could exist in real life.
21. Short story – a brief story that usually focuses on one character and one event.
22. Tall tale – a humorous story that tells about impossible happenings, exaggerating the
hero's accomplishments.

Lyric poems are written from the first person's point of view. This form of poetry does not tell a story
portraying characters or actions. This form usually revolves around the emotions, perceptions, and state
of mind of the poet.

An ode is a long serious poem, mostly about nature, object of attraction, or aimed at adoring someone or
Sonnets are lyric poems comprising 14 lines falling into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet
Dramatic Monologue
Dramatic monologues are also known as a persona poem. This type of poetry is highly narrative and
imagined by the person, which reveals the aspects of his/ her character and nature while describing a
situation or event. They are often lengthy, famous, and fall under lyric poetry.
Occasional Poetry
An occasional poetry is written on a specific occasion. This form of poetry falls under lyric poetry as it is
meant for a performance, accompanied by instruments.
Occasional Poetry
An occasional poetry is written on a specific occasion. This form of poetry falls under lyric poetry as it is
meant for a performance, accompanied by instruments.
All types of lyric poetry fall under a meter. It is an underlying structure beneath the words which helps you
emphasize or stress on certain words of the poem.

Dramatic Poetry

- drama written in verse which is meant to be spoken

Also known as a dramatic poem, this is an emotional piece of literature which includes a story which is
recited or sung. It refers to the dramatic genre of poetry. Till the nineteenth century dramas were written
in the form of verses. The definition of this piece of literature can be quoted as, 'a form of poetry where a
story is narrated in the form of a lyrical ballad.'

Dramatic Monologue

The monologue may have multiple characters but only one speaker. That speaker may or may not be
reliable. The reader has to keep in mind that the speaker is telling a story from his point of view only.
Were another character to tell the story, the reader would get another point of view. For example, one
character, the Duke, tells the story in Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess." He believes that the
Duchess gave herself freely to other men, but without the point of view of another more objective
speaker, you can't really know whether that is true.


Some dramatic verse is comedy. It may be comedy in the humorous sense that readers think of today, or
it may be comedy in the classical sense, in that it ends happily in spite of the sometimes very serious
trouble that unfolds throughout the story. Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is a comedy, even though it's not
funny, because it ends happily. "As You Like It," another of Shakespeare's comedies, has a happy
ending, and it is also funny.


A tragedy is any story that ends unhappily. The verse dramas "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet" and "The
Crucible" are examples of tragedies. Verse dramas always take place in the present. For example, you
read "My Last Duchess" as if you were standing there listening to the Duke speak. Likewise, you watch
the events of a Shakespearian tragedy unfold as if they were happening right now.