Language in Diversity

PROLOGUE

            We are as the first group would like to explain about Functions and Challenges of Studying Literature. May be many people ask, what the literature means. So, by this paper we will explain to reader some materials that are related with literature in this paper.

            Functions and Chellenges of Studying Literature is the big topic that we will inform to the reader in this paper, the explanation of this paper we devide into five materials, they are: 1. Definiton of Function, Challlenge, Study, and Literature. 2. Understanding of Literature. 3. Three Items that Include in Understanding Literature. 4. Functions of Studying Literature. 5. Cahallenges of Studying Literature.

     Finally, if any a shortage of this paper we need criticism and suggestion to develop our skills in making a paper in the next time.

FUNCTIONS AND CHALLENGES OF STUDYING LITERATURE

A.The Definiton of Function, Challenge, Study, and Literature.

Before we explain the function and challenges of studying of literature as the big topic in this paper, we have to give explanation first about what definition of the function, challenge, study, and literature are.

Based on Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the function is devided in some of categories, they are : noun and verb. As a noun the function has a definition as an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing. And as a verb the function means as work or operate in aproper or particular way.[1]

And based on Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the function is devided too  in two categories, they are: noun and verb. As a noun the function. In noun the function has a definition as the natural purpose (of something) or the duty (of a person). And in verb, the function has definitons as to work or operate. And to have a particular purpose.[2]

In addition, the challenge as a noun based on Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary which has a definiton as a new or difficult task that tests sb’s ability and skill. And as a verb, the definiton of the chellenge is to question whether something is true or legal.[3]

And based on Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the chellenge as a noun means as (the situation of being faced with) something needing great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and which therefore tests a person’s ability. And as a verb, the challenge means as to officially question whether something is true or legal, or whether someone has the authority or right to do something. And to compete against someone or ask them to prove that they can achieve a particular goal, etc.[4]

            Moreover, based on Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the study means as 1. the devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge, especially from books. 2. A detailed investigation and analysisof a subject or situation. 3. A room for reading, writing, or academic work, etc. (As noun). And as a verb the challenge means as to spend time learning about a subject by reading, going to college, etc.[5]

            And based on Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the study means as 1. Studying or work involving studying. 2. A room, especially in a house, used for quiet work such as reading or writing. (As noun). And as a verb, the study means asto learn about a subject, especially in an educational course or by reading books. And  to examine something very carefully.[6]

            And the last about literature, literature . Based on David, “Literature is an art form, like painting, sculpture, music, drama, and the dance. Literature is distinguished from other arts form by the medium in which it works; language”.[7] And other opinions literature is referred to as the entirety of written expression, with the restriction that not every written document can be categorized as literature in the more exact sense of the word. The definitions, therefore, usually include additional adjectives such as “aesthetic” or “artistic” to distinguish literary works from texts of everyday use such as telephone books, newspapers, legal documents, and scholarly writings.[8]

Now, In these pages will be presented about general of  The Functions and Challenges of Studying Literature.

B.   The Understanding of Literature

Before talking about the function and challenge of studying literature, it is necessary to know what the literature itself. There are many opinions about the definition of literature from the experts. Based on David, “Literature is an art form, like painting, sculpture, music, drama, and the dance. Literature is distinguished from other arts form by the medium in which it works; language”.[9]

Whereas the definition from Wikipedia, “Literature from Latin litterae (plural); letter is the art of written work and can, in some circumstances, refer exclusively to published sources. The word literature literally means “things made from letters” and the pars pro toto term “letters” is sometimes used to signify “literature,” as in the figures of speech “arts and letters” and “man of letters“.[10]

Meanwhile according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, “Literature is pieces of writing that are valued as works of art, especially novels, plays and poems (in contrast to technical books and newspapers, magazine, etc)”.[11]

In most cases, literature is referred to as the entirety of written expression, with the restriction that not every written document can be categorized as literature in the more exact sense of the word. The definitions, therefore, usually include additional adjectives such as “aesthetic” or “artistic” to distinguish literary works from texts of everyday use such as telephone books, newspapers, legal documents, and scholarly writings.[12]

Literature is that the merit of a piece of writing lies in its combination of literary art and human interest. A work of high art which lacks human interest dies. For its human interest to last – and human interests change – the language of a work has to have life, and its form has to please. Admittedly, such qualities of language and form are easier to recognize than to define. Recognition develops with reading and with the strengthening of the historical magination and of aesthetic and critical judgement. No further definition of literature is attempted, though what has been said above about `cultural studies’, academic pluralism and partisanship shows that the question is still agitated. In practice, though the core has been attacked, loosened and added to, it has not been abandoned.[13]

From those opinions about the definition of literature above, it can conclude that literature is an art of written expression of human being that the purposes are for entertaining, enjoying, funny, and beautiful. Some people usually related literature with the poems and poetry.

C. Three Items in Understanding Literature, They are: Experience, Interpretation, and Evaluation.

a. Experience

When we read literary work, something happens to us. A poem, for example, may provoke our thinking, evoke our memory, elicit a strong emotional response; a short story may arouse our curiosity what will happen, engage our feelings for its characters, and stimulate our thought about why things happen as they do.

In responding to literary works in these and other ways, we bring our personal and shared human experience to our reading of them.

b. Interpretation.

Our understanding of literary works results from our effort to interpret them, to make sense of their implied meanings. Our interpretation of literature provides an intellectual counterpart to our emotional experience. When we interpret literary works we concern ourselves less with how they affect us and more with what they mean. Interpretation, in short, aims at understanding

How do we come to understand works of literature? How do we develop an ability to interpret literature with competence and confidence? One way is to become familiar with its basic elements or characteristic. In reading fiction, for example, we rely on analysis of such elements as plot, character, setting, and point of view.

c. Evaluation

            Our evaluation of literary works involves two kinds of judgments, they are:

(1). Our assessment of their quality and value

(2). Our assessment of the cultural, social, and moral value display.

Evaluation of literary work, which is a complex process, is closely related to our experience and interpretation of it. Evaluation is also linked to our emotional response and subjective reactions regarding aspects of the work that please or shock us, that stimulate, frighten, repulse, amuse or amaze us.[14]

D.   The Functions of studying Literature

The function of literature is to entertain, to educate, to memorialize actual or fictional events. To leave records of people, places and things and to keep the language intact.[15]

More than two thousand years ago, the Roman poet Horace claimed that literature is “sweet” and “useful.” Since then, literature has been traditionally understood, at least in Western cultures, as having the dual purpose of entertaining and educating its audience. Literary texts are constructed in effect as objects of beauty, sources of pleasure and as conveyors of messages and information. While authors often claim no practical purpose for their works, all literature constitutes an attempt at persuasively conveying certain values and ideas. The entertaining and beautiful aspect of literary works acts in reality as part of the appeal and attractiveness which the work tries to attach to the ideas which it seeks to convey. The beauty of literature is therefore a part of its rhetoric, a device intended to strengthen the overall persuasiveness and influence of the work on its audience. While the entertaining aspect of literature may be rather obvious, understanding the ideas or values which a text advances is not always a simple task. Part of the problem is the fact that the ideas of a literary text are almost always presented in indirect or “symbolic” form. Take for example the following very simple narrative.[16]

Critics have been discussing from very early times about the function or functions of literature. Though they differ among themselves regarding the other functions of literature, they are all agreed on one point—that the main function of literature is to entertain the readers, or, in other words, to give them pleasure. Sidney voiced the opinion of Longinus when he said that the chief function of literature is to “move” “I never heard the old song of Percy and Douglas,” he declared, “that I found not my heart moved more than with a trumpet”. Dryden was the next critic who cleared away the ancient stumbling block of criticism—the doctrine that the aim of the writer is to instruct or “make men better in some respect”. He asserted that the aim of the writer is, not to teach, but to please, and he distinguished between literature which is art and literature which is didactic. Instruction may result from the reading of poetry, but it is not the end: for ‘poesy only instructs as it delights”. Referring to the function of literature to delight and to move, De Quincey made the distinction between the literature of knowledge, and the literature of power—“The function of the first is to teach” the function of the second is to move.” Besides giving pleasure or entertaining or moving the readers, literature is supposed to have other functions as well. One important function is to heighten the awareness of the reader to certain aspects of life. The dramatic poetry of the Greeks, the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were created for festival and ceremonial occasions. They reminded the great concourse of Athenian citizens of the traditional gods and heroes of history.[17]

Thus, from this several description and example we can conclude that the main function of Literature is main functions of literature are to entertain and give pleasure to the reader, and to heighten his awareness of certain aspects of life.

E.   The Challenges of studying literature

The study of literature is the place- there is no other in the most school – the place where in the chief matters of concern are particular of humaness, individual human feeling, human response, and human time as these can be known through the written expression (at many literary levels) of men living and dead, and as they can be discovered by student writers seeking through words to name and compose and grasp their own experience.[18]

The study of literature is therefore an eminently interdisciplinary endeavor through which we attempt to make sense of the human experience throughout history and of the ways in which human beings represent that experience and come to an understanding of themselves and of the world around them.[19]

CONCLUSION:

            Based on all materials of this paper we conclude some important point, they are:

1.    We have to know first, what literature means before we want to know more what functions and challenges of studying literature.

2.    Many opinios about the definition of literature, one of them is Based on David, “Literature is an art form, like painting, sculpture, music, drama, and the dance. Literature is distinguished from other arts form by the medium in which it works; language”.

3.    Understanding literature includes three items, they are: Experience, interpretation, evaluation.

4.    The function of literature is to entertain, to educate, to memorialize actual or fictional events. To leave records of people, places and things and to keep the language intact.

5.    The explanation of challenges of studying literature

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alexander, Michael, A History of English Literature, London: Macmillan Faoundations, 2000.

Cambridge Dictionary

Diyyani, Robert, Literature, Graw- Hill Companies .Mc., Inc, 2004.

E Kakonis, New York Tom, and David Allan Evans, From language to Idea:an integrated rhetoric, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Inc, 1971.

Klarer, Mario, An Introduction to Literary Studies, New York: Routledge, 2005.

A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (New York: University Press, 2000), p. 1344.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature

http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~jelkins/lawyerslit/studylit.htm

http://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/the-functions-of-literature/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_two_functions_of_literature_according_to_Horace


[1] A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (New York: University Press, 2000), p. 547.

[2] Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary,        

[3] A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (New York: University Press, 2000), p. 204.

            [4] Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

[5] A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (New York: University Press, 2000), p. 1344.

            [6] Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary

[7] New York Tom E Kakonis, David Allan Evans, From Language to Idea: An Integrated Rhetoric, (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Inc. New York: 1971), p.139

[8]Mario Klarer, An Intriduction to Literary Studies, (Routledge, New York: 2005) p. 1

[9]New YorkTom E Kakonis, David Allan Evans, From Language to Idea: An Integrated Rhetoric, (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Inc. New York: 1971) p. 139

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature

[11] A S Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (New York: University Press, 2000), p.783

[12]Mario Klarer, An Introduction to Literary Studies,  (Routledge, New York: 2005) p. 1

[13] Michael Alexander, A History of English Literature, (Macmillan Faoundations, London: 2000) p. 8

[14] Robert, Diyyani, Literature, (.Mc. Graw- Hill Companies, Inc,  2004) p. 7

[15]http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_two_functions_of_literature_according_to_Horace

[16] http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~jelkins/lawyerslit/studylit.htm

[17] http://neoenglish.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/the-functions-of-literature/

[18] http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~jelkins/lawyerslit/studylit.htm

[19] Ibid

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