Value of Literature in Education. By Rida Tariq


The educative value of literature can not be denied. Real education does not mean that you are passing a few Universtiy examinations. Education is not simply an equipment to enable us to near our means of livelihood .True education lies in the development of one's intellectual and spiritual facilities. More knowledge of facts is not true education. A truly educated man is him who knows himself and his position and duties in this world. Literature in education plays an important role in development of our faculties and in the building of our character.
The two broad types of education prevalent in the civilized countries of the world are "vocational education" and "liberal education" .Vocational education imparts knowledge of something which helps us earn our living where as Liberal education serves the purpose of education in the true sense because it helps us to develop all our inner facilities .People usually criticize literature because they think that it does not bring any momentary gain. But this is not the right point of view. The place of literature in education should not be judged in terms of money .Literature reveals to us the various aspects of life, its mystery ,joys ,sorrow , its beauty and ugliness as well as its depth and vastness .Literature is the recording of the human heart, the human experience; it is the true history book, the true cultural recording. Through literature we can see into other people's lives and become more understanding and tolerant. Another value of literature is that good literature has the power to make a reader a better writer. I think that the value of great literature is that it transports us to another place, through another pair of eyes and we learn about the hearts and minds of other people, as a result.
Through reading (and through the study of literature), we rehearse the great dilemmas of life, both personal and social. We find ourselves asking the big philosophical questions: How should I live? What is the good life? What is love? What is justice? And what does it all add up to? Literature is not philosophy, it’s not psychology and it’s certainly not religion or theology. But it is a form of knowledge that tells us about who we are, about ourselves, our society and our culture. Milan Kundera calls it a “parallel history”. Through the novel, he argues, we encounter all the dimensions of existence, from “the nature of adventure” to “the secret life of the feelings” to “the role of myths from the remote past”, and on. Reading enables us to reflect on elements of existence we don’t encounter anywhere else.
Valuable literature should offer something to the reader in terms of hope, encouragement, escape, empathy, love, knowledge of human nature, relationships, and etc. So undoubtedly the message someone gets from one piece of literature will be different than what someone else gets. Perhaps this means that for each of us, we must establish the value of the literature for ourselves.
The value of Philosophy or History pales in significance when compared with that of literature .Philosophy has certain practical and intellectual utilities but literature is superior to both .It has its emotional and aesthetic value also. It is literature that makes us refined .It enhances our powers of observation ; it increases our depths of insight and widens our outlook on life .Literature is the history of nations culture. To study literature is to study the genius and culture of a nation.
Literature is the true depiction of human life in all eras and throughout the centuries. It provides an insight to human life, the behaviors and conducts of humans, as well an access to their inner realms.
Some critics hold that that study of literature renders us unfit for the struggle of life but this is not entirely true . Some people think that those who study literature are fed up of their lives and they are boring which is also not true. The aim of the study of literature is not to furnish us with necessary equipments for any particular profession .It simply trains our mind and makes us efficient .Hence, it is right to say that literature plays a very prominent part in educating our generations.

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