Literature may be defined as the written works especially novel, play,
and poetry that are valued as works of art. It is true that literature differs
from other works of art (or other subjects as it may also be referred to) in
the following aspects:
(1) Language. It uses language imaginatively, creatively, and artistically.
(2) It uses plot. Unlike other works of art or subjects, literature uses special plots in order to convey the events smoothly.
(3) Setting. Literature uses settings. Literature uses time, events, places and customs of a particular area. Other works of arts or subjects may not use settings intensively as literature does.
(4) Characters. Literature applies characters while other works of arts or subjects do not include characters.
(5) Literature has artistic and creative qualities. Literature is an art, thus it differs from other works or subjects that are not purely artistic or creative.
(6) Author’s styles. Literature is characterized by the use of various writer’s styles. These styles are not easily found in other works or subjects.
(7) Literature conveys both didactic and aesthetic functions in the society. This means literature does not only teacher but also has some beauty in it.
(8) Narrative techniques. Unlike other subjects or works of art, literature has various narrative techniques like traditional narrative style and straightforward narrative techniques which are not available in other subjects or arts.
(9) Point of views. These are the points in which events of the story are relayed. In other subjects or works of arts, points of views are rarely used or are not used at all. In literature, points of views are part and parcel of the works of art.
(10) Literature is the communicative channel between the writer and the audience. While other subjects and works of art are communicated differently like sculpture, literature helps writers communicate with its readers through written words.
(11) Literature creates and resolves conflicts. In literature, conflicts are created by the artists and they are resolved in special way that helps the reader to understand them and learn from them as well.
(12) Literature includes the themes or issues that teach the society. As we all know, literature has got many functions to perform in the society. Apart from entertaining, literature has the role to educate the society through its various themes expressed in various genres.
Therefore, literature is a subject or discipline that is exclusively different from other subjects and works of art. The differences mentioned above are not the final more differences than these ones can be explored and discussed by students, teachers, and literary critics as well. One more thing to remember is that difference between literature and other subjects or works of art do not only include elements of form and content. Other elements are included provided that they make literature a different subject or work of art from others.
Below are some of the similar questions that can be discussed and compared with the question we have just discussed above.
Other related questions:
Why literature is referred to as an art?
How literature does differ from other subjects?
Why should students study literature?
What differentiates poetry from other literary genres?
What qualities differentiate prose from poetry?
What are the distinguishing features between novel and play?
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