What Are The Literate Arts Good For?
Miller asked a question in his text, The Dark Night of the Soul, which is asked on numerous occasions. ‘What might the Literate Arts be good for?’ Miller gives situations and reasons why we could say the Literate Arts are useless in today’s world. What might the Literate Arts be good for? I ask this question a lot nowadays too. When I go for an English class or see literary books, the question creeps into my mind unconsciously. In this modern world ‘reading and writing’ have gone downhill and yet people do not seem bothered or affected by it which makes the doubt in literary power even stronger. But after a lot of thinking and research, I have come to realize that literate arts are still needed in our world. The Literate Arts could be used for self-expression. The literate arts are good for clearly expressing an artist’s deepest personal feelings. Writers who have trouble bringing out personal themes can do so effortlessly using this form of art. To be a good writer, the reader must be able to identify with your personal feelings in your work. In The Dark Night of the Soul, Miller expresses his feelings about different ideas, beliefs, doubts and what other feelings he has. Though he shows his doubts on the power of the literary arts, he uses the literary arts to express them. Ironic isn’t it? We were able to understand from his text how these different questions troubled him. Self-expression has been seen to be a very useful tool in life. It makes one avoid harming himself or the people around him. Although Miller gave an example of the Columbine shooting where the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were readers and writers of the literary arts and yet it made no difference in their lives, it doesn’t change my believe. He also added they even went as far as documenting what the felt before the shooting and why they did it but they still went about shooting people but I say that’s just an exception. In the movie...
Cited: Miller, Richard E. “The Dark Night of the Soul.” Ways of reading: an Anthology for Writers. Ed. David
Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. Ninth Edition. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s, 2011.
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