intro to lit

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Literature allows people to better understand themselves and the world they live in. Many people turn to literature to escape their own lives for a while, and in doing so they often learn something about themselves through exploring the motivations, actions, thoughts, and ideas an author brings. It teaches people to empathize with others who might live in different circumstances or even time periods. Although, if it were not for the authors who appreciate the importance of literature, people would not be able to experience the depth of complexity it brings. That being said, it takes a rare ability for an author to see the world from the outside and plot its curves. Edith Wharton is a great example of an author of her time that was able to capture the world from an outside point of view. Her fiction brings out her ironic style and satiric wit while still having a moral seriousness to her work. In her short story, Souls Belated, her satiric sense of style is displayed through the characters in conflict with society’s expectations. Over Edith Wharton’s impressive career, which stretched over 40 years, she has published numerous works that include novels, short stories, and travel essays. Her ironic and satiric sense of style remains memorable in American literature, as does she. Wharton inspiringly became the first woman to be awarded with the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Age of Innocence in 1921. Many of her works are still in print today (Merriman, 2007). Edith Wharton was born on January 24, 1962 in New York City as Edith Newbold Jones (Bloom, 1988, p.4213). Her parents, George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Rhinelander, were wealthy people who made fortunes in shipping, banking, and real estate. Wharton lived in t... ... middle of paper ... ...lted in her actually thinking about her and Gannett’s situation. All in all, I loved Wharton’s story because it was a compelling examination of the influence society has on all of our lives. Throughout the semester, this class has taught me the importance of literature. I have learned that literature isn’t just reading a piece of work, but analyzing it. Although I love to read, I never have tried to find the central point of what an author was trying to make. I read because I enjoy experiencing something new and getting to know characters. However, this class has taught me to appreciate literature much more. By researching about the author and studying specific lines, a piece of work becomes much more meaningful. Analyzing is tough to do, but I will walk away with a greater understanding of the value literature brings to the world and the people in it.

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