Why Read Literature?

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Nothing teaches us better than literature to see, in ethnic and cultural differences, the richness of the human patrimony, and to prize those differences as manifestation humanity's multi-faceted creativity. Reading good literature is an experience of pleasure, of course; but it is also an experience of learning what and how we are, on our human integrity and our human imperfection, with our actions, our dreams, and our ghosts, alone and in a relationship that link us to others, in our public image and in the secret recesses of our consciousness.

The bond that literature establishes among human beings compels them to enter into dialogue. The bond also makes them conscious of a common origin and a common goal to exceed all temporal barriers. Literature transports us in to the past and links us to those who in the past eras plotted, enjoyed, and dreamed through texts such as The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison that have come down to us, those text that now allow us also to enjoy and to dream. This feeling of membership in the collective human experience across tome and space is the highest achievement of culture, and nothing contributes more to its renewal in every generation than literature. It is important for this to happen so that we can learn from the past to improve our future.

One of Literatures first beneficial effects takes place at the level of language. A community without a written literature expresses itself with less precision. According to Randy Fitzgerald, "with less richness and nuance, and with less clarity than a community whose principal instrument of communication, the word, has been cultivated and perfected by means of literary texts" (64). Without reading and untouched by literature will resemble a community of mutes and those of lost expressions afflicted tremendous problems of communication due to its crude and rude language. This is true for individuals, too. A person who does not read, or reads...
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