Essay on Enlightenment through Reading Great Literature

556 Words 3 Pages
Enlightenment through Reading Great Literature


Great literature has created controversy, enlightenment, and has perpetually stimulated the imagination of readers everywhere. The ability to learn from past experience that crosses religions, races, and times helps separate the great literature from the "chaff." A good, entertaining story is not enough to produce a truly great and enduring work. Great literature is characterized by its ability to retain value in truth and entertainment even though changing culture.

The influence of great literature has been a legacy of the human race for 1000's of years. Arguably the most influential of books is the Bible. It has been a top seller for almost all of eternity. However, it
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The ability to interpret a book in multiple ways stretches the imagination of a reader and challenges a reader to place more thought into the reading of a book and no longer accept things at face value. Instead of a physical or purely imaginative enjoyment, great literature creates webs of connotations, ironies, and allusions which provide a purely mental entertainment. The entertainment of a truly good book is characterized by its ability to connect to other great works while stimulating thought in many different, yet related, subjects. A lucid example is Brave New World's society as a parallel to the oppression of current society and the problems of absolute power. This enjoyment is a unique experience for everyone. By discussing great books, everyone can see a different side of the picture, gaining from the unique experiences of everyone involved.

The controversy that literature can provide allows unfair and biased views to be uprooted and looked upon by with a more objective view. Literature puts people to action by challenging their values and refreshing their views. Many long held traditions such as the selling of indulgences have been challenged by visionaries such as Martin Luther who posted his 95 theses on the church door, thereby causing a change in the beliefs of a large portion of the Catholic population. Such ability to call action to current events and an ability to continue to hold value after hundreds of years is what defines…