Literature and communities

Literature reflects communities

Essay, 2008

4 Pages, Grade: 1


Sometimes when authors are personally involved or willing to take a stand to a certain issue then they write about it. In such cases literature can play an important role in creating awareness in society and many times literature had the ability to bring by changes. Individuals that read a certain literature can very well influence others and society. Where vice versa issues from society are often the leading reason for authors to write.

Literature does reflect communities and the individuals that make up society do affect each other and with that influence society as a whole. Literature reflects communities by writing about the given time, culture, beliefs and attitude people had during a given time. Authors use literature to make aware of situations in society that should be changed to the better by using examples paired with descriptions of the daily life situation of people and vicinity, many times combined with explaining the economic situation.

Importance of Language in Literature

“The Lesson” by Toni Cape Bambara (DiYanni, R. 2002), is a short story that makes use of language in order to facilitate the reader the feeling how it is to grow up and live under certain conditions. To provide an understanding how children that grow up in a poor neighborhood can develop the feeling of being underprivileged and react with hate and resignation. Turning against everything that seems to be different and is considered to be better than them, ignoring that there might people willing to help and change things to the better. In “The Lesson” the author uses on purpose the language spoken by African-American people in the south to illustrate to the reader their culture and bring out clear their race as the author writes words: “good ole time” “punchin” (p.500) or the saying “White folks crazy” (p.501) or the sentence on the end “But ain’t nobody gonna beat me at nuthin” (p.505).

Where as William Faulkner uses in his short story “A Rose for Emily” (DiYanni, R. 2002, p.74) a much more sophisticated language that should implement to the reader that he is talking about changes in a higher society in the south. His style is more formal and elegant as he introduces Miss Emily: “…had been a tradition, a duty, and a care; a sort of hereditary” (p.74).

Literature can demonstrate importance of education in communities

In the short story “The Lesson”, the author is trying to create awareness in society for the importance and the need to bring education to all levels of society, especially to the lower society levels. As Sylvia, the person who tells the story is describing Miss Moore: “…with nappy hair and proper speech. And quite naturally we laughed at her…” (p.500), illustrates the precariousness the children conceive towards others that are different them then, which are more educated. On the other hand the author let Sylvia describe Miss Moore as a caring lady that is taking the initiative to inseminate the importance of education in the children on little life situation examples as with their trip to F.A.Q. Schwarz. When she is explaining the children on the example of the microscope: “ you never outgrow learning instruments” (p.501), she is trying to tell the children that learning is a life long process, and that money and time invested in education is never a lost cause. Those efforts of doing things the way Miss Moore is trying to bring the importance of education to the children can work. This can be realized on Sugar’s reaction after the visit to the F.A.Q. Schwarz store when she states to Miss Moore: “that this is not much of a democracy if you ask me. Equal chance to pursue happiness means an equal crack at the dough” (p.504). Sugar should realize that with education she will have the equal chance, and it is up to each individually to take their chances, as long the community assures that everyone has access to the same opportunities.


Excerpt out of 4 pages


Literature and communities
Literature reflects communities
Ashford University
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ISBN (Book)
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literature, communities, verbal, communication, society, development
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Susanne Baake (Author), 2008, Literature and communities, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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