Essay On Western Canon

1418 Words6 Pages
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…show more content…
The archetypes displayed in them are often used in media. Romeo and Juliet is an example of this as the “star crossed’ lovers” theme is often present in various literary works. Also experts have observed that in its current state the canon is considered the key to teaching English Literature (Deneen 33). The homogeneous status of the canon has a clear purpose as observed by Sharon Bailin, a professor of Education at Simon Fraser University. The purpose is the “culminating products of our cultural traditions” (64). As in they reflect the culture of the United States and it shapes the ideal citizen. This ideal citizen is of course a white middle class man with European heritage (Bailin
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