Mapping the world's opinions

Welcome to Literature

This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about literature. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of books, themes, plots and character arcs.
Welcome to Literature
Welcome to Literature
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How should we think about interpreting literature?

In the world of literary criticism, there are many theories about the correct way to interpret literature. Some critics argue that the text alone determines a work's meaning, while others pay more attention to factors like historical context or the reader's experience. Scholars have also practiced other methods of literary criticism influenced by feminist, Marxist, or psychoanalytic theories, to ...

Was Charles Dickens a social progressive?

The Victorian novelist Charles Dickens was in many ways an important social campaigner. Through his novels, which focused sympathetically on social problems amongst the poor of Victorian England, he provided a powerful catalyst for social change and improvements for living and working conditions amongst poor people. He wrote on prison reform at a time when prisons were just beginning to be used as...

Was Persephone kidnapped?

Persephone, wife to Hades, daughter of Demeter and Zeus. The myth of Persephone says that she was kidnapped by Hades and that she is allowed to visit her mother Demeter for six months out of the year...or does it? Was Persephone kidnapped, or did she go willingly?

In 'Lord of the Flies', is Jack evil?

In Nobel Prize-winner William Golding’s 1954 dystopian novel Lord of the Flies, a group of British schoolboys are stranded on an deserted island and are left to govern themselves. This ill-fated attempt to battle through civilization, morality, and order led to extreme bloodlust, violence, and savagery amongst the group of boys. Jack Merridew, the power-loving antagonist of the story is obsessed w...

Are Stephen King's novels sexist?

Stephen King is one of the world's top-paid authors, with over sixty published books and even more films and TV shows based upon these novels. The way he portrays women in these books, unfortunately, is not always the best. Women are constantly subject to abuse, fantasy, and objectification. Are Stephen King's novels sexist, or not?

Mapping the world's opinions.

Should multicultural literature be included in the high school curriculum?

Multicultural literature includes literature about people who are underrepresented in mainstream society and have been marginalized in some way, including Asian-American, African-American, and Chicano-American literature. For the most part, high school curriculum for English courses revolve around teaching the classics, but should more diverse literature be taught in high schools?

Is Shakespeare's writing universal and timeless?

Ben Jonson described Shakespeare as being "for all time" - that is, his works resonate with all time periods and peoples. His body of work spans poetry and plays, many of which are the most praised, quoted and performed still today. Is the work of Shakespeare truly this universal and timeless?

Should books be adapted into movies?

We’ve seen many of our favourite stories rise to the silver screen. From childhood favourites like Harry Potter to remakes of classics like Little Women, many books have been adapted into screenplays and made into movies. The big dilemma: read the book, or watch the movie? Should the movie adaptation even exist at all?

Are e-readers better than printed books?

Books are constantly evolving. In the 21st century, we no longer read from a page, but read from a glass screen that can hold hundreds or thousands of texts. E-readers have revolutionised the way people read, and for many have made it much more accessible. But how does it weigh up to the traditional paperback?

What are the themes of The Catcher in the Rye?

J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye is a well-known coming of age story. It has also caused controversy because of its sexual content and use of profanity. What are the themes of The Catcher in the Rye, and how does the main character, Holden Caulfield, react to the world around him?

What are the themes of The Great Gatsby?

F. Scott Fitzgerald's beloved novel The Great Gatsby is required reading for most high schools. It shows New York City during the 1920s: a time of youth, wealth, and prohibition. What exactly are the themes of the novel, and how are the characters influenced by the values of the era?

Which books should you read while self-isolating from coronavirus?

Books can be life-changing. They can be a form of escapism that give a unique perspective into lives, times, places and ideas we will never experience ourselves. Or, a way of learning new ways of thinking, being and approaching the world. With all this time now spare, what are the key texts we should be reading?

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