Literature makes the culture and civilization by giving and making beautiful statements about the issues and problems, beauty, culture and society.
The modern ages seemingly developed a tendency for literature to be no longer needed because of the available video and audio stories. Thus, people began to be deprived of these beautiful statements after these facts were ignored. Although the story develops on paper or some other form of writing via the writer’s imagination before it is put into any other format, this unnecessary propagation of tendencies also began to deprive the people of telling and listening to the stories, which have been an essential ingredient for the recipe of happiness for human beings. It may be agreed that videos and audios have gained currency, but not without acknowledging that these are also literature in different forms because literature is sung, danced and acted upon.
Literature has always been the voice of the people. If you recall the drama, Oedipus in which the people come to their king in crowds to lament their losses in the song format which otherwise could not have been conveyed. The writer of any piece of literature speaks on behalf of the people. He makes a beautiful statement about the problems his people are undergoing and imaginatively talks about the possible solution. In this attempt, the writer jolts the power corridors, which are further tempted to work for the people.
Literature is the voice of resistance as well because what one cannot utter because of multiple restrictions can be expressed in a story or a song. The postcolonial literature is the best example of the resistance voice of the colonized people. In such cases, for example, Ali’s ‘Twilight in Delhi and Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ are voices of resistance conveyed to the colonizer by using the vehicle of literature. It is a fact that in the states where freedom of speech is guaranteed, the resistance voices may be listened to patiently but in the countries where the resistance voice is mainly crushed by power, literature remains the only source to project people’s resistance voice. For example, the poems of Faiz and Faiz and Ahmed Faraz raised the resistance voice of the people.
Literature is the heritage and history of every nation or the group of people inhabiting the earth, especially the countries which have been extinguished. Still, these people’s culture, language, and literature have not disappeared. We can learn about the people’s culture, history and heritage through their multiple formats of literature. Literature not only preserves but also creates an account. The history of English literature written in voluminous books discusses the socio-political history of the English people. We have multiple stories of the people through which we recognize and learn about the previous nations. Some of the stories are about the global heritage and encompass the whole of humanity.
Literature refines language and contributes to the evolution and development of language. The more people read the stories written by capable writers, the more they learn about the multiple uses of their language and how the ideas can be expressed in a more progressive, convincing and compelling style. So, the language of the stories created by gifted writers is a source of constant learning and developing vocabulary. Milton and Shakespeare are named as the language owners of the English language because they did multiple experiments with the English language and refined and beautified the English language.
Among the multiple roles and benefits of literature is that the nations acquire the capability of influencing and affecting the people by telling them stories. Literature also has the power of image building and distorting with its literary narratives. For example, the British people employed their literature models to create an image of a benevolent master rather than a cruel master. Similarly, literature becomes a tool for the nations to create harmony and symmetry among their people. When a nation’s people speak and sing and listen to the same stories or the author throughout the country, they begin to experience harmony and integrity.
And above all, Literature is much more instrumental in creating a collective experience of the nations, which further helps in creating upward mobility by becoming the voice of the cultural imaginary of people. The society and people inhabiting the country are the raw material for literature, and the writer incorporates and enfolds the voices of the people in general. So, the writer becomes a representative of his people not only at the individual level but also at the collective level. The reader shares the same experience as the writer, and he too becomes part of the same collective voice. The chain of such literary interplay between the readers and writer creates a bond of collectivity and collective-hood in the nation. So, to make national health happy and robust, more and more stories should be told and listened to because it is the only way to make people stress and tension free.
The writer is a professor of English at Government Emerson University, Multan. He can be reached at [email protected] and Tweets at @Profzee