Literature And Society: The Sociology Of Literature

1465 Words6 Pages
The Sociology of Literature I’ve read “Literature and Society”, a section extracting from Qian Jiaoru’s Essays in English Language and Literature, for several times. This section can be divided into three sub-categories, namely literature as a social phenomenon, relationship between literature and society, and role of literature in society. From Qian’s point, literature, rather than an IMITATION or a REFLECTION of society, is a RECREATION of human life, and to a great extent it is determined by the social conditions such as the political and economic systems, the reigning ideologies, the norms and conventions in human relations. Moreover, literature writes about social phenomenon with social implications, and is written by someone who belongs to a society, but also is written for the society, being published and shared among the public. The IMITATION theory can be referred to the Allegory of the Cave by the Greek philosopher Plato in his work the Republic, he presages both Madame de Staël’s treatise De la littérature: considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions socials of 1800, which discussed cross-national differences, and other later notions of literary reflection with his hypothesis. The essential function of the REFLECTION theory was to “explain” in social and historical rather than individual terms the quality and greatness of literature, as well as its content, style, and forms. In effect, it emphasized social and cultural determinism instead of personal
Open Document