The Importance of Expression in Literature: Analysis of Northrop Frye's The SInging School

Topics: Writing, Literature, Mind Pages: 1 (284 words) Published: November 24, 2013

Northrop Frye Writing Assignment When writing literature, one must focus on the form and expression of the content rather than the content itself. In “The Singing School”, Northrop Frye argues that “the literary writer isn’t giving information, either about a subject or about his state of mind: he’s trying to let something take on its own form…” (Frye 17). Unlike the first two levels of minds -where the English language at these levels is verbal address- literature has no direct audience due to limitless imagination and avant-garde. Frye is trying to say that composing literature is about pushing the envelope of what’s acceptable by challenging the audience’s beliefs about the conventional. For example, one’s attempt to tell a story is more than just what the story is about but the way the story is presented. Furthermore, when Fry contemplates art and science in “The Motive for Metaphor”, he reveals that art, which can be literature, begins with imagination: “It starts with the imagination, and then works towards ordinary experience: that is, it tries to make itself as convincing and recognizable as it can” (Frye 6). Even though a writer follows the same format and writing conventions, it’s the imagination of literature that allows authors to think outside the box and express themselves in a way that’s unique and innovative. For instance, a typical writer who tries to write a romantic piece will end up following romantic conventions without pushing the boundary by creating different ways of expression. After analyzing the various aspects of this topic, it’s safe to say that in literature the way one expresses him/herself is far more important than what he/she is saying.
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