Importance Of Literature As A Mirror Of Society

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An Essay on Literature as A Mirror of Society
In every part of the world, literature has been more or less, mirror of society. At the earliest stage, literature invariably took the form of poetry, while prose was a much later creation, because prose developed with matured age. Poetry is out and out a product of imagination, while prose is the fruit of intellect. The earlier from of poetry, is the epic. In Italian, Greek, German, English or Indian epic we can find a clear reflection of the ancient social history of the countries. If we mark closely the contents of the Beowulf, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, we will find in them a picture of the ancient life and society of the countries concerned. Even in the much later epics of England, Germany or India, we can find a
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Most of the modern stories and novels of Russia and India are realistic and they do reflect the society of the times of their countries. The stories and novels of America or France or even of England have still in them a great element of imagination, and therefore, they, are the best mirror of society. But if literature is always made to serve as the mirror of society, will it not be a dull and monotonous reading? As literature is mostly intended to serve as an escape from life, it should contain a great element of imagination, because imagination is a great means of escape from the realities of life. The function of literature being two-fold, namely, to instruct as well as to recreate it should contain both the elements of imagination and reality. If literature contained the element of reality, it would have bcc1 extremely boring to the reader, because very few of us would 111.,.. to go to the theatre or to the screen or even to read such c 1 stories or novels which give us vivid and correct picture of 1111111.111 life and character. Nobody wants to see a repetition of flic joys and sorrows, the same cares and anxieties, the sal II(
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