What Is Literature Essay

689 Words Aug 29th, 2012 3 Pages
Charmine J. Cramales
BS Math II
Lit 3 10:30 – 12:00

What is Literature?

Poems, novels, and stories; these are some of the things that first came to my mind upon pondering on the question 'What is Literature?'. And just lately I have known that literature also includes songs, speeches, plays, and many others in written and spoken forms. I have also known that things that are produced out of creative imagination can be referred as literary works which are the ones that comprise literature. Considering this description of what literature is, the coverage of literature seems very puzzling. If literary works are those produced out of creative imagining, then it would directly point to fictional works. But then, there are also
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Take for example the views of two individuals coming from different places on a novel based on the culture of one. It would likely be the same if their culture and beliefs are quiet related but if not, then they would surely have different understandings on certain parts of that novel. Hence, defining literature as those considered by people as ‘literature’ is questionable.

Eagleton also associated literature as any kind of works which are valued highly by people. But then again, since people may have different perceptions on things, one may value highly a certain work while another person may consider it just as a plain writing. As stated by Ms. Pinzon, a literature professor, a personal letter can be an example of this. The recipient of the letter can be expected to really value the letter while her classmate may not. Hence, this can’t define literature as a whole.
Then, what really is literature? Many great critics have tried formulating a fixed definition of literature but have failed to do so. In the rise of every possible definition of what literature is, counter arguments also rise.
Literature, though it seems impossible to enumerate everything it covers, play an important role in every individual's life. One can influence using literature or be influenced by it. Examples of these are the novels made by our very own national hero, Jose Rizal – the Noli Me Tangeri and El Filibusterismo. During his time, Rizal has…