LITERATURE:Its Definition, Value and Classification

9 Nov


Literature are written works collectively, especially those of enduring importance, exhibiting creative imagination and artistic skill (Funk and Wagnalls).
Literature comes from the Latin word literature meaning writing; literatus which means learning; and thus is literate for learned.

It is both oral and written work characterized by expressive or imaginative writing, nobility of thoughts, universality and timeliness.
The best way to understand human nature fully and to know a nation completely is to study literature.
Literature appeals to man’s higher nature and its needs–emotional, spiritual, intellectual and creative. Like all other forms of art, literature entertains and gives pleasure; it fires the imagination and arouses noble emotions and it enriches man by enabling him to reflect on life by filling him new ideas.

Intellectual value
Spiritual value


Literture nourishes our emotional lives.
Literature broadens our perpectives on the world.
The study of literature engages you in the kinds of problem solving important win a variety of fields, from philosophy to science and technology.
One of the purposes of a college introduction to literature is to cultivate the analytic skills necessary for reading well.


Like all other literary types, poetry presents a “heightened awareness of reality,” but it is poetry that features “language charged to the nth degree.” By that Paul Engle meant that poetry maximizes the power of language and transmits an intensified artistic experience–chiefly through suggestion, figurative language, imagery, condensation, and sound.

To Robert Frost, poetry is the “only permissible way of saying one thing and meaning another.” Whatever the poem wants to say, it expresses in a manner that appears to be “the only right way of saying it in the context of the realities it has started with” (Cirilo Bautista). In poetry the words are so well-arranged such that one delights in repeating the lines–there appears to be no other way of saying them. Just by the sound alone, one derives pleasure from a poem. Apart from the idea one derives from poetry, one then also goes through an experience wrought by the language, music, and imagery that interlock in a poem, such that one recites the lines over and over to savor the poetic experience. The content (what the poem says)and form (how the poem expresses its main idea) of the poem have become one.

Prose drama-a drama in prose form. It consists entirely of dialogues in prose, and is meant to be acted on stage.

Essay-a short literary composition which is expository in nature. The author shares some of his thoughts, feelings, experiences or observations on some aspects of life that has interested him.

Prose fiction:

Novel-a long fictitious narrative with a complicated plot. It may have a main plot and one or more subplots that develop with the main plot. Characters and actions representative of the real life of past or present times are portrayed in a plot. It is made up of chapters.

Short story-a fictitious narrative compressed into one unit of time, place, and action. It deals with a single character interest, a single emotion or series of emotions called forth by a single situation. It is distinguished from the novel by its compression.

Characters-are the representation of a human being; persons involved in a conflict.

Round character-is a dynamic character who recognized changes in the circumstances; is fully developed character, with many traits shown in the story.
Flat character-also known as the stock or the stereotype character who does not grow and develop; a flat character is not fully developed and do not undergo changes.

protagonist-the main character
antagonist-a foil to the character

2. Setting-the locale and period in which the events occur. A stoyr must take place in space, time, and therefore must have setting. But the importance of setting varies greatly from story to story. The setting gives immediacy to the story, can lend atmosphere to a story and can enter directly to the meaning of a story.

3. Conflict-the struggle of complication involving the characters; the opposition of persons or forces upon which the action depends in drama and fiction.
Internal Conflict-occurs when the protagonist struggles within himself or herself; the protagonist is pulled by two courses of action or by differing emotions.

Interpersonal conflict-pits the protagonist against someone else.
External conflict-person against society

4. Point of View- the writer’s feeling and attitude toward his/her subject; determines who tells the story; it identifies the narrator of the story.

First person- the narrator uses the pronoun “I.” S/he could be a participant or a character in his own work; the narrator maybe the protagonist, an observer, a minor character, or the writer himself/herself.
Third person- the writer is mereky an observer and uses pronoun in the third person.
Omniscient-the narrator sees all; s/he can see into the minds of characters and evne report everyone’s innermost thoughts.

5. Tone/Mood- the attitude or mixture of attitude taken by the writer toward his work.

6. Symbolism- stand for something other than themselves, they bring to mind not theri won concrete qualities, but the idea or obstruction that is associated with them.

7. Theme- the author’s comment regarding the subject

8. Plot-a causally related sequence of events; what
happens as a result of the main coinflict is presented in a structured format; is the sequence of events which involves the character in conflict.


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