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Literature: Relationships With Society


Literature has been used in various communities to address different issues that impact how people live. Moreover, aspects such as the setting, themes, and the moral lesson of a story are involved in literary texts. Individuals have also argued that literature can shape society by educating the public on how to live ethically. Writers are also influenced by the occurrences in the community when writing their stories. Thus, various aspects can be analyzed using different texts to show that literature is an essential aspect that impacts the behaviors of individuals in a society.

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The Relationship Between Literature and Place

In literature, the setting is one of the components of literary texts. The setting addresses the time and place in a text, whereby time determines where the events in literal texts are exercised. In the short story “Araby” by James Joyce, social and cultural aspects signify the site where the event exists in the text. For instance, the narrator uses his homestead to show his compound’s surroundings and identify where the priest was buried. He also uses the school to emphasize how he lost concentration after Mangan’s sister asked him about going to the bazaar, but he declined. In the text by Nicky Hornby on “I’m Like a Bird,” the author uses the hospital to show where he met the Caribbean girls who played and danced the song, and Hornby felt that she was in the same world with them.

How Literature Shapes or Reflects the Society

Literature is the mirror of society; it has triggered the development of the community. For instance, it is involved in shaping civilizations, changing political systems, and exposing injustice. Reflection of society through literature has explained the importance of literature. Literature has helped the community members to have a deeper understanding of issues and situations such as the meaning of human conflict. For instance, in the poem “Infant Sorrow” by William Blake. Blake uses the poem to portray human conflict, the infant cried aloud and was uneasy in his father’s hands, but he thought the best solution was to suckle the mother’s breast. He thought and realized he was harming himself.

In society, literature helps people understand issues and solutions to their problems. Hornby’s text helps in changing the mindset of people on how they perceive pop music. She encourages society to appreciate and support one another. This helps in promoting unity and peace among the members of society. Literature helps in inspiring the community to uphold and respect their values, for instance, by supporting their religious values. In “Araby,” the writer uses the Dublin society to emphasize how they upheld their religious values. Religion values are shown when the narrator’s aunt said that she hoped the narrator was not engaging in freemasons since their religion forbade it. It is, thus, significant to say that literature reflects society.

The Relationship of the Writer to Tradition

Tradition is a catalyst that has resulted in the inspiration of writers. Moreover, literal texts are either modern or traditional based on their content. Writers use tradition to show the events that took place a long time ago and how they affected society. Various texts such as “Araby” are based on the traditional context. For instance, the use of the Roman Catholic Church in the text. Joyce used religion to portray the faith practiced by the Irish and how they had limited freedom to engage in other devotions since Catholicism dominated Ireland. The Dubliners were catholic believers, and the priests mingled with their congregation freely. In countries such as the United States, there are different religions, and believers worship freely. Hornby’s reading portrays the types of music that people paid attention to and listened to. However, due to the transition to the modern era, people had stopped listening despite the message delivered. Therefore, it is essential to focus on the message being conveyed from the traditional view rather than ignoring lessons derived from past events.

How the Literature Pieces Represent the Period that they Came From

Literature texts are written at different times based on what has motivated the writer. The setting of a literal text can show when and where the text was written. The poem “Infant sorrow” by William Blake reveals how difficult life is after birth compared to when a child is still in the mother’s womb. “I’m Like a Bird” was written in the 21st century, a season when the music industry was transforming from traditional to modern. Hornby emphasizes that people should recognize pop music since they deliver essential information. The reading “I’m Like a Bird” emphasizes that everything has an end, whether bad or good. This was meant to encourage people in the modern era to continue trying and support the singers by refraining from stereotyping. Lastly, in “Araby,” the short story was written to show the impact of post-colonialism. The narrative shows some of the traces of colonization in society. For instance, religious colonization, the priest who was buried beside the narrator’s house signifies that the region was allured to Christianity by the colonizers.


In conclusion, literal texts are written in different time frames to address the current situation. Therefore, it is vital to note the events taking place when the literary text was written. Literary texts have also been used to address various issues experienced in the community. For instance, writers have used stories to educate people about the dangers of conflicts experienced in many societies. Literature texts are also written at different times based on the events that happen during that period. Thus, various aspects of literature have revealed that it is an essential aspect that affects the elements of society.

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