All publications of Angie Nongthombam . Manīpur , भारत
THE RELEVANCE OF LITERATURE IN THE SOCIETY TODAY
We all grew up with Literature. Every student knows what is literature but that doesn’t mean every student likes it. It is just a subject to some and even a stupid subject which is ‘boring’ and ‘of no use’ to some of them. While a group of people do not like it genuinely (which I completely respect since they do not like it, for literature was just not their cup of tea), some people do not like literature because it is ‘un-cool’ and liking it means you are ‘boring’ and cannot look ‘interesting’.
I want to make this article about the relevance of literature in the society today very realistic with facts about how some people treat literature just so they could fit in or whatever lame reasons.
Literature is loved by millions of people and there are thousands of people out there who rely on it to escape the reality and float in a world where everything is how they want reality to be but only some have the courage to reveal it. Some people hide their love for literature because of how people will treat them, mainly friends who are stereotypic and very into the phrase ‘Fitting in and being trendy and cool are extremely important’. These people who love literature want to be cool and trendy just like the others so they just discard the thing that actually matters the most for some sick trends and be like every kid out there – doing every possible thing just so you could stay ‘relevant’.
To be really honest, these people are sick and very untrue to themselves and I do not respect their reason at all because it’s utterly disgusting and very lame of an excuse to throw something as beautiful as literature just for things which aren’t even important and is actually of no use. I know what I just wrote above aren’t really doing justice to the topic but I wanted to put these facts forward in case, luckily, my article gets selected for the final round and some teenagers read it by chance and might relate to it, maybe help them in opening their eyes and making them see their mistakes (if they turn out to be doing exactly what I mentioned earlier), giving them a chance to change and be themselves. So what I want to really say is – do not be afraid to do and reveal the things you love just because people will make fun of you.
Now, getting to the point of the relevance – literature is first introduced to young kids from school. Reading and writing becomes a necessity to the students and of course, many hate it but many love it too. While many owe literature a lot for everything it has done for them.
Personally speaking – growing up, I never was interested in writing or reading. In short, I had nothing to do it and should’ve stayed that way but it took a very clichéd turn. When I entered my teens, I don’t know why but I found it hard to digest and understand things. I never used to get jokes or tricks or memes or codes which really made people make fun of me. At first, I thought it’s because of IQ but I realized I was just dumb - at least that’s what I was made to think. People used to send me hurtful memes and jokes in the name of ‘fun’ but it always hurt me and I started thinking so low about myself. I started to think, “There is nothing wrong in what they are doing because they are right. You are dumb and stupid.”
I started to stay quiet whenever they used to do that and thought they will stop eventually. Except that they didn’t. Instead, it increased and the way I felt about my worth and self was worse than ever. All these stories do not actually matter except for the fact that Literature played a very vital role in it.
One fine summer day, I attended a very quiet but nice book fair and there, I first met the book that gave me an escape door from the reality – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It wasn’t the complete series with ‘Little Men” and “Jo’s boys’ included but actually a very condensed version of it. The burning of Jo’s manuscripts weren’t included! But I later learned about it through the complete series that I bought the year after.
When I was done reading the small condensed version, I realized reading is such a remedy for me to everything.
I later purchased other novels and started reading. Hence, my journey with literature starts there. Soon, I gained confidence in myself and started believing more in myself. I even started defending myself too and believed that it isn’t a flaw to be a slow learner. It was just how I am and Literature showed me that.
People gain confidence from other people but Literature gave me what I craved for so long. I know this might not be relatable to many of you and might end up thinking what I’m saying isn’t really making sense and that’s okay because Literature cannot be everyone’s favorite. But I know for sure, there are people out there who can relate to this. I just know it. For me and for all the people who have relied on it and will continue to, Literature will always be the most relevant thing ever and it is a fact. No matter which generation is it.
The impact of Literature even in a generation like ours isn’t worthy of ignoring and it is undeniable. When I first started writing, it was all I wanted to do – the whole day and it hasn’t changed. There are days when all I do is just write and write and write and it is no wonder writers are so addicted to it. Literature is not only about reading and writing but also acts as a mirror for people who are strongly opinionated. Through literature, we writers find a way to express ourselves and our feelings. When we put into paper, we cannot suppress our feelings and cannot help but express ourselves in the most beautiful way we can.
Writers are all strongly opinionated and Literature is the only way we can do justice to our opinions that matter and our feelings. Some bestsellers are great mirrors of the society then and now and help us see the social evils clearly and give such good understanding of the world we live in. It makes us want to be better people. Literature is the only way we can calm our wild opinions and feelings about many things and bring peace within ourselves. The inner peace and calmness we feel when Literature is right beside us is unexplainable and cannot be put into words. The completeness we feel is so surreal.
Literature acts as a reflection of humanity. In a world, where time is the most important yet lost thing and communications are lacking, I believe that Literature helps us to understand one another better, including a stranger or acquaintances. When you really dive into it, you can see what an individual is trying to convey from their novels and how they think. It is important since in a world and society, where all things are losing value due to increase of selfishness and decrease of interaction and lack of attention to what matters the most, novels and literature create a conversation and aims at understanding and appreciating real things for the people who really observe the world and society.
History also plays a very important role as a part of literature. Some people think that it’s useless to study and learn about the past and it’s actually waste of time but trust me when I say that it’s not. Without knowing our past and everything that happened, how can we expect to evolve as a species? How can we expect to cope with the growing culture without any information of the past? Without the timestamp that literature with history within it, we would know nothing about it.
Literature gives us a deeper and clearer understanding of the past and the people who were here before us and helps us to grow and evolve more than we can expect. It’s not only Science that is helping the world develop and grow, helping humans too as a species to evolve and grow. It creates a greater meaning and appreciation of the past for us and all the leftovers manuscripts and writings which helped a lot of historians reach their goal in deciphering and understanding many crux of the matter were all in the form of writings by ancient people with a gift for Literature.
This is the power of Literature. They have the ability to recreate meanings and reform words with so much of truths and facts but most importantly, power, followed by beautiful words which outlived their authors. They have the power and courage to create a sense of understanding and communicating with people just by being simple yet beautiful.
So I cannot help but defend and speak out for Literature when it comes to their relevance in today’s society, for it is still so much relevant and perhaps, for some people, Literature isn’t one of the most relevant things but the most relevant thing in their life – like me.
It will always stay relevant, no matter which generation is it.