How Literature Enhances our Perceptions Essay

492 Words 2 Pages
Jeremy Hsu, Luis Urrea, and E.B. White have different writing credentials: one is a science journalist, one a creative writing professor, the other an essayist. Although from different backgrounds, each has explored the power of literature. Through Hsu’s “The Secrets of Storytelling”, “Life is An Act of Literary Creation” by Urrea and E.B. White’s pieces in Essays of E.B. White, each author shows how literature is used to enhance our perceptions of the world around us, creating a sense of community.
“The Secrets of Storytelling” explores why humans love stories and why storytelling is one of the few traits that is “universal across culture and through all of known history” (Hsu 46). From a psychological point of view, “We tell stories
…show more content…
And they see the next artist at work and go there. And they follow the fires until they find their ways home,” (Urrea). In order to light this fire, he also learns “that [he has to go] into the world and [pay] attention” (Urrea). Paying attention to details and to the small things in the world is what brings our world together.
White’s body of work synthesizes the ideas that Hsu and Urrea find so important in literature. The importance of community is exemplified in “Death of a Pig” and “Home-Coming” through the telephone system: “There is never any identification needed on a country phone; the person on the other end knows who is talking by the sound of the voice and by the character of the question” (White 21) and “the entire New England Telephone & Telegraph Co. deserves to be shut up in a closet for having saddled us with dials and deprived us of our beloved operators, who used to know where everybody was and just what to do about everything” (White 9). By taking note of small things around him, like the “cast of characters [he] depend[s] on” outside of his home on Forty-eighth Street (White 7), White acknowledges that our surroundings are what brings a community together. White is able to show the importance of community and of paying attention to detail.
Although they focus on different aspects, Hsu,…