The article throws light on the importance of Literature and its impacts on human development. How literature of different ages have affected the civilizations of different periods is the main focus of the article.
Literature and its impact on human development
‘What is the impact of literature on human development?’ is a million dollar question the answer of which can’t be explored unless one tends to have a glance on the rise and fall of the nations. The history bears witness that literature has played a vital role in the development of civilization of different nations that earned repute in the comity of nations. Though history reveals heroic struggle of great warriors or diplomatic prudence of politicians of the states that ruled the vast areas across the globe; and there seems no role of writers or poets in this regard. But this would, perhaps, be superficial analyses. We will have to go deep to have a better appraisal of Literature.
One may wonder to see that the books of Shakespeare have nothing to do with the intricacies of war, nor do they deal with the diplomatic relations a government. But little bit deep analyses of the above answer unfolds the hidden sagacity. To understand it first we should understand as to what are the qualities of a leader. The way a leader is different from other common folk: he/she has certain qualities which differentiate him/her from others and ultimately pave his/her way to achieve some superior position. Same is the case with nations. No nation on this glob has acquired the status of being supreme unless it has learnt to develop its civilization. Human development ultimately renders a respectable status to a nation. And literature plays a key role in this regard.
To substantiate my point of view I would like to draw the example of renaissance—the greatest factor behind the human development in Europe which pulled it from the Dark Age. It was the renaissance that ushered Europe to the height of glory the fruits of which is still being enjoyed by Europe. The present advancement of civilization owes much to the renaissance movement. Before going further in the details, it is necessary to explain as to how renaissance worked. It gave critical thinking to people and they started thinking about the things which were considered to be a bane prior to it. In other words it provoked common man to think while using the faculties of head and heart. In short, the movement of renaissance changed the whole fabric of civilization. And this very thing can be termed as human development. One becomes developed when one starts thinking on one’s own.
Now I would like to throw little bit light on the aspect as to what miracles literature makes. We, to begin with, need to understand that men of literature are not common human beings. They are absolutely different from others. Their mental faculties are far sharper than other humans. They are extraordinary sensitive ones. They have God gifted qualities to glean on paper what their sharp eyes observe in life.
The subtleties of life can be found in different master pieces of great writers of the world. These refine things of human brain have a vital role to play in the development of humans. The study of the development of civilization endorses this view. The wisdom and intellect present in the plays of Sophocles is still a matter of great interest for us living in the twentieth century. One can imagine how it would have worked on the mind of those living thousands years ago. The plays of Christopher Marlow marked a new phase and played a key role in changing the orthodox ideas of the day. They gave a new dimension to the way of thinking and reasoning of the people of his age. Dr. Faustus, for instance, can be quoted in this regard. The plays of Shakespeare are teemed with wisdom.
Fiction has played its role in the development of human behavior and thinking. Jane Austen, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf are a few names who contributed a lot in shaping the ideas of people. “A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce is a marvelous novel that is burdened with intellect. When these masterpieces are read by people, they leave an everlasting effect on human mind. Literature is not mere a reflection of life; it also affects the way of life of its age and the ages to come. The literature of Shakespearian age, for example, still has very strong influence on this modern era.
If we come to poetry, it would, perhaps, not be wrong to say that its share in human development is more than any other genre. From time immemorial poetry has been occupying a high place among people. It has direct appeal to one’s heart. The touching effect of a verse is far more important than anything else. Even an illiterate person, who cannot understand fiction, can be swayed by a verse. The powerful imagination of the poet may transport the readers into some unknown and fanciful world created by the poet.
The last but not the least is difference between an educated and an uneducated person. One can very easily distinguish between the both. The former is more civilized and cultured; it possesses comparatively more sense of judgment than the later. In the same way, those who have not acquaintance with literature are not in any way equal to those who love to read literature. Their mental faculties are much sharp and have a broaden vision. Their world view is also different; they are mature in their thinking. The one who loves literature loves humanity.
Hence it can very easily be established that literature is essential to human development. It is not easy to gauge the contribution of literature in human development. It has been influencing human mind in the past and will keep on influencing in future as well.