To quote Helen McCroy, “Literature is reflecting what is happening in life…”. Even the modernist critic Roland Barthes talks about the Death of Author saying a work must be read ignoring its author which evidently hints that the writer’s background is reflected in his/her work.
Literature is a subject that relates most to one’s life. Easy as it may seem, it is not that simple to deal with. Several research paper writings have stated literature’s clear relation to society. Thus, students may sometimes need Homework Help USA to understand this concept.
The gradual; change in the form, text, pattern, literary style of literature with changing eras hints at literature reflecting the events in society. Yet literature is not the mirror of society. An author does not always present the society as it is.
He presents a society as he wants to see it, often offering a solution, or hitting at the society with bitter satire. An author’s or a writer’s job always was to bring about a change with his work trying to prove that “A pen is mightier than a sword”.
The works written centuries ago do differ very much in their structure, form, content, etc, from the works written today. For example, at a time when religion was a priority to everyone, works were written keeping this thing in mind.
Be it the Mahabharata, the Ramayana or later on in England- Paradise Lost. Each work was written keeping in mind what the readers wish to read.
India witnessed works such as Humayunama , Ain-i-Akbari, Prithvirajraso and the like in an era when King was considered equivalent to God and works were written in their praises.
Literature merely does not only focus on giving pleasure of reading to its readers but also offers a historical, cultural, social, economic background to a society of that era.
Yet literature was always written towards a bias by the author. For pleasing the king, it was only important to praise him, for glorifying one’s culture it was important to bring put its achievement,
and above all writer’s himself/herself puts on his views and ideas and supplements his/her work. Thus, seeing a mirror image of a society in a piece of literature is a hard nut to crack.
Jane Austen in her Pride and Prejudice focuses on the desire for each woman to be married and end the hunt of a well-settled man. And this is what the society
that time (in the Victorian Era) focused on, yet her protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, refuses to fit into this stereotypical mould. She sets out to fulfil her dreams being an adventurous girl.
The modern poets and writers focused on the subject of disintegrating identity in an era engulfed with war clouds. Be it T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Vikram Seth, Nissim Ezekiel, Rabindranath Tagore, Sally Morgan, Chinua Achebe, Margaret Atwood and the like.
Yet they didn’t paint the society as it was then giving it a mirroring effect. They added their own ideas, perceptions, views, knowledge and made each work subjective.
For Tagore it had to be rise from subjugation by colonizers and an entry into a free: “Where the mind is without fear….”. For Yeats, he had lost faith in religion and was disillusioned by these repetitive events “Turning and turning into a widening gyre,
The falcon cannot see the falconer….”.
For Sally Morgan, it was more of restoring the Aboriginal history and identity, so was it for Chinua Achebe and Gayatri Chakravarty Spivak (as they stated in their research paper writings).
Thus, there works offered a reflection of society but with the writer’s own perspective supplementing it. Nowhere would you see the exact images being painted.
Our mind, whenever it perceives a problem, it starts hunting for a solution, resulting into an overflow of thoughts which are poured out by the writer in his/her works.
Subjectivity and objectivity are what is the relationship of reflection and mirroring effect of literature, respectively. You cannot expect both to go hand in hand. And a piece of someone’s artistic creation can never be objective.
Shakespeare wrote works which are said to be eternal- fitting in all ages and generations. His works offer a universal message that even appeals to the audience today.
As he rightly referred to all the world as a stage and all men as actors. It indeed was the writer’s own viewpoint, but it appeals to the reader’s mind even today.
If mirroring was the purpose of the literature, then why would Dilip Chitre wrote, “In a situation of metro”, was a station of metro the centre of importance for people then, was it the central idea people focused on.
Why would Nissim Ezekiel writ5e about “Goodbye party to Mrs. Pushpa”, was Mrs. Pushpa and her farewell party the centre of attraction or was it the only issue important then.
These poets and writers focused themselves on one particular issue, majorly one that had affected or the one that had relevance to them or their surroundings. Writer’s job always was to show the society a mirror
so that it could improve, but that it did in his own different way, adding and subtracting things, thus not mirroring society but reflecting it.
Literature has seen developments, major ones, in its form and content, over time. A societal approach moved to an individualistic world. The Romantics wouldn’t write the same as the Victorians, Modernist or Post-Modernist.
Why would you see the daffodils and how would you see it when the dust, smoke and ashes of war engulf you. Similarly, Kalidas’s work won’t be same as that of Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri or Arundhati Roy.
As society is a dynamic institution, so is literature. Thus, it is rightly said that “Literature is the slice of life” not the whole loaf- it reflects it but not mirrors it. Thus, these were a few points of understanding literature with respect to society that students can refer to for assignment help usa .