What Are the Functions of Literature?

Literature is about life. Literature is about people, be they individuals or groups of individuals.

Literature is all about the places and environments in which people live, work and interact with one another. Literature is about the actions of real people like you and me. In fact, literature is about the motives behind those actions. Literature is about time and moments in time.

As you can see, Literature is a product of the way we live as social human beings.

Literature comes in many forms. Allow me to state just a few here.

  • stories or fiction or narrative prose
  • poetry and music
  • drama
  • films or movies

So what are the functions of literature? Here are six functions of literature for you.

1. Literature entertains.

Literature, be it comedy or tragedy, has the power to excite and make people feel refreshed.

2. Literature forces us to use all our senses.

Literature thus has the abiding effect of making us remain active and conscious beings.

3. Literature teaches us valuable lessons about human nature.

It instils in us a spirit of tolerance and understanding. Literature enables us to live harmoniously with one another.

4. Literature has a moral effect on society.

Satirical and didactic literary works, for example, are known to have played a positive role in changing the behaviour of individuals and the way societies are organized.

In fact, literature is a powerful tool for effecting behavioural and social change.

5. Literature improves and enriches our use of language.

This is borne out of the fact that the main medium of literary expression is language. The home of idioms, figures of speech and other stylistic expressions is Literature.

6. Literature inspires.

Stories, movies, plays, speeches, and poems have since time immemorial inspired people to do great things.

Are you encouraged by these benefits you can derive from studying Literature? There is a host of resources available on the web you can access to learn more about Literature at your own convenience.

Just take a quick look at these inspiring works of literature.

Thank you.

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

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