Essay about Literature and HIstory

Essay about Literature and HIstory

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Pulitzer Prize winner, Barbara Tuchman, once said, “[b]ooks are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature is dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.” Just like Barbara has mentioned in her quote, literature always have reflected the historical event that was happening on the time the books were written. For instance, expansion of Christianity and the belief of immortal life through being a hero on their own epic, during Anglo-Saxon period is shown on the famous epic; Beowulf. Beowulf himself always summons the lord before his fights and tries to fight Grendel for his own heroic journey. Inhuman behavior of British toward Irish farmers are reflected in Jonathan Swift’s satire, The Modest Proposal. Jonathan criticizes and satirize the ruthless behavior of British landlord by proposing of eating babies. Criticism toward industrial revolution and reminiscence of natural life was shown in poems “The Tables Turned”, and “World is Too Much With Us”. They suggest it is the best for us to give up the city life and go back to natural life.
Historical events and literature are rather integrated with each other. Social, religious, political issues were always the most popular subject for various writers to satirize, criticize and symbolize about. Specifically, Beowulf had a significant impact from immigration of Anglo, Saxons and Jutes with their belief in Christianity. Three tribes had arrived from Denmark, Germany, Holland and the Frisian Islands. (Collins 1) When the Anglo-Saxons have arrived to England, they have also brought the religion - Christianity with them. (James 1) However, the Christianity didn’t spread until Saint Augustine have arrived on behalf on the miss...

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...will be passed down to generations. Despite the fact that the characters are imaginary and it is a fiction, this epic does reflect the religious and native belief of immortality with Beowulf being on God’s side and achieve victory in the war against Grendel who’s synecdoche of the satan and the demons who are being punished by the divine Lord.
If Beowulf has Grendel for its merciless behavior, The Modest Proposal has British landlord for it.

Works Cited

James, Edward. “Anglo-Saxons” BBC 5 Nov 2009. 3 Jan 2010

Pacey. Desmond. Our literary Heritage. Canada: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd, 1982.

Stenton, Frank. Anglo-Saxon England. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971. 812.

Kennedy, Charles. Beowulf The Oldest English Epic. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. 121.

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