Introduction to the Short Story
Timelessness and Universality of Literature
Literature is timeless and universal because it speaks to the human experience, what it is like to be alive. The lessons and morals in literature are timeless because people and the feelings that all people have remained mostly unchanged, even as the times change. Due to this we cling to literature because it provides us with a guide. We are able to draw parallels with characters in literature because their feelings and emotions are so similar to our own. Literature continues to provoke our rawest emotions regardless of when it was written or when it was read. In reading literature, we feel alive as we are able to tune to the feelings of the writer, their hopes, desires, and fears, we all live and die, feel lonely and poor. When a writer writes about these universal themes, their literature becomes timeless and immortal. A universal and central theme in lots of literature is the theme of death. Literature helps to capture the feelings, fears, and curiosities that surround what it is like to be mortal. In the late 19th and early 20th century we see prominent writers such as William Faulkner and Leo Tolstoy attempt to wrap their arms around death and to understand it. Their writings about death resonate with so many because it is a universal must. Every person must deal with their mortality in their own way and Tolstoy and Faulkner help to detail how so many do. Whether if it is through denial, religion, or material things. In “A Rose for Emily," Faulkner details how Emily Grierson refused to accept death by simply denying that it was a reality. When Emily’s father died, and the women of the town came to offer their condolences she insisted that her father was alive and well. For three full days, she went about business as usual refusing to accept that her father could be dead. Emily denied her father’s death and by doing so she denied her own eventual demise....
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