Literature: The Relationship Between Literature And Literature

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In this paper I aim to trace the relation between language and literature. It is very clear from the essays of many 19th and 20th century philosophers and socio-linguists that language influences an individual’s thoughts and which consequently influence his ideas and writings. Raymond William, Bakhtim, Gadamer, Adorno and some other thinkers have invested many years for their lives in proving that language, literature and culture are inter-related and a writer can't write in isolation however objective he pretends to be; this influence of a particular culture and society of his epoch can't be escaped. Stephan Greenblatt's "Culture" also defines culture and its role in literature and literary criticism. Thus there is an unbreakable relation…show more content…
Thus, literature cannot exist outside language, since language is the medium of expression; people use language to construct poems, stories, plays, etc. In other words, literature involves the manipulation of language for creative purposes. In literature, language is manipulated for the expression of a people’s culture. While language is the medium used in expressing people’s culture, literature is the reflection of this culture. Literature itself has been described as a bundle of material, oral or written, which reflects how people live their lives. In Nigeria, for instance, the indigenous languages, as well as the English language, have been used in expressing the people’s culture as reflected in their literature. Although English is a second language there, it has become a medium for expressing Nigerian culture. However, the Nigerian writer has had to Nigerianize the English language by compelling it to express unaccustomed culture. Chinua Achebe is one Nigerian writer who has used English language to bring out the aesthetic values of Igbo culture. He uses English in expressing Igbo proverbs, insisting that “proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten” (Achebe 1976:5). In Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, etc., Achebe manipulates English to express the African culture and world view, carefully and…show more content…
The reality of God and people's quest for the knowledge of Him as revealed in His word, the Bible, has given birth to what can be described as Bible-based literature: literature that expresses the peculiar culture and world view of the believers. Although human language is used as the medium of communication in this brand of literature, its message transcends the boundaries of human languages and cultures. In fact, the language of Bible-based literature has assumed a universal status: it is a language characterized by Biblical concepts and their equivalents in whatever language is used as a medium of communication. Works of literature in this category have one thing in common: they are intended to teach moral lessons. To ignore the existence of this brand of literature is to ignore reality itself. While it is undeniable that literature is the manipulation of language for creative purposes, it must be noted that the usefulness of literature to the human society depends largely on how the writer uses language. Like a house whose structure and value depend on the quality of materials used by the builder as well as his or her expertise in the use of these materials, the value of a work of literature also depends on the writer's choice of
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