The Criticism Of The Western Canon Essay

The Criticism Of The Western Canon Essay

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The western canon suffers from a disservice in that it is greatly homogeneous. That is most of the authors are dead, white western European men, and the literature reflects, almost, solely western beliefs. By lacking multiculturalism our students are denied a significant amount of insight into other cultures of the world. This among many other attributes of our culture can generate stigma towards outsides and develop xenophobia. Some are against multiculturalism as they view these books and their lessons to be a significant part of American culture (Cope and Kalantzis 285). But this injection into the cannon is inevitable, Kayhan Irani aspires for a global canon which envelops other cultures of the world though, this will require hard work ("THE BIG QUESTION: Is There a Global Canon?" 4). Embracing multiculturalism by developing our canon could deter ignorance among students and improve our culture for the better. The wester canon is far too homogenous, as a result this closes off our students from other cultures which can be of great benefit and interests to them. While acts of the hegemony of the United States would prefer to keep it in its current state for the sake of cultural tradition all the while such nationalism only plants seeds of xenophobia in our increasingly open and global society.
There is a consensus that the canon is a reflection of American culture or rather the predominate American culture. Which focuses on white middle class men who are, more likely than not, protestant. It can be safely assumed that the canon reinforces this stereotype, as experts such as Bailin observe. While the setting in most literature novels is vastly different from our own. The central characters are almost always white men,...

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...ed them to become more connected to the text.
A popular mantra in regards to education is that students are the future. Yet Americans are less concerned with investing in the future. Most would rather cut funding for education and continue teaching using conservative methods, especially in regards to the usage of the canon. This should not be accepted in the increasingly interconnected world students live in. Students need to understand and even appreciate other cultures. Even more so they should be able to observe their own from the different perspectives offered by literature. As is the canon cannot accomplish this, while the literature held within it hold value in the form of self-enrichment they no longer even remotely relate to students’ culture. Through the teaching of diverse of classical texts this can be achieved. Students gain insight into the

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