The Importance of Literature to Humanity

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The Importance of Literature to Humanity
“Literature speaks the language of the imagination, and the study of literature is supposed to train and improve the imagination” (Frye 134). According to Northrop Frye the imagination is the combination between emotions and intellect in every individual. The more an individual is exposed to literature the better that person is at expanding their imagination, which he calls the educated imagination. Having an educated imagination helps one to think for themselves and create their own ideas and opinions. “The educated imagination is a necessity of life in a political world, the study of literature is not an "elegant accomplishment" but a means of entry into a "free society" (Frye 147).With an educated imagination one is able to distinguish between moral and aesthetic truth, this is extremely important when it comes to politics. Politicians or simply people in a higher authority often use rhetoric language to manipulate and brainwash people with lies. In the novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury shows the negative effects rhetoric language can have on those with an uneducated imagination and that without literature society produces a world filled with ignorance. The absence of books in Fahrenheit 451 creates darkness within the society. In literature darkness is a symbol of ignorance, evil, falsehood, oblivion, despair and the unknown. Light on the other hand represents goodness, life, knowledge, fame and hope. During the entire novel the author constantly relates to darkness and night, “In the late afternoon it rained and the entire world was dark and grey” (Bradbury19). Books represent light; it provides people with knowledge, exposes truths and educates the mind. In this society books are illegal and the job of a fireman is to burn any house that contains books in it. Due to the burning of these books there is a lack of light in this society, just utter darkness. Because of the ignorance within the civilization the...
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