(University of Delhi)
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes and can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And You are the one who’ll decide where to go”. Young students often hear it from their guardians in order to motivate them.
One can never overstate the importance of Literature for the youth. It is virtually impossible to fathom the role and significance of Literature in a society. All Literature which can be defined as a ‘Classic’ must be read, analyzed, and studied. Not in parts but very substantially. Well quoted by Piyush B. Chaudhary (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women, University of Delhi),
“Literature does to the youth what water does to a budding plant – it invigorates, vitalises and helps to grow to its full potential.”
For the majority of people around the world, our first serious encounter with literature comes from school. Reading and writing have been drilled in all of us from an early age and this is set in motion with the start of examinations. Being able to empathize with a group of characters written on a page is categorical and from a student’s perspective a necessary skill. The impact of literature in modern society is undeniable. Suvaiba Zaheen, a student of Zakir Hussain College, University of Delhi feels sceptical about the indulgence of youth in literature.
Apart from what we study as a part of the school syllabus or at the undergraduate level only for people picking up a particular subject, not many read much. Though poetry writing has become popular nowadays it’s backed up by the meme trend where youth doesn’t read much but is eager to write just for social media recognition. So in a nutshell, the impact of literature on youth is minimum for social media has considerably overtaken much indulgence.
Impact of reading literature
An observation made by, Hanzla Ashraf, a final year student of, Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi, “Education according to me, is to learn the way of living and I believe literature has done that for me. Opting for literature has completely changed my mindset for good. It teaches you to analyze everything you watch, listen, and read which is an important attribute to understand life and it’s aspects.”
Literature is the study of psychology, history, sociology, basically a vast universe. In the process of understanding poets, playwrights, novelists, one eventually comes to understand how society works. The issues and struggles of an individual as well as entire communities. He says, It is a powerful way of describing and expressing and he’s really glad to be a literature student as whatever he sees now, has meaning.
According to me, literature acts as a form of expression for each individual author. Some books mirror society and allow us to better understand the world we live in. Authors like F.Scott Fitzgerald are prime examples of this as his novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ was a reflection of his experiences and opinions of America during the 1920s. We connect ourselves to the psyche of authors through their stories. However, literature also reiterates the need to understand modern-day issues like human conflict. Apart from that, what I observed is that literature is a reflection of humanity. And a way for us to understand each other. By listening to the voice of another person we can begin to figure out how that individual thinks. I believe that literature is important because of its purpose and in a society, which is becoming increasingly detached from human interaction, novels create a conversation.