“Literature is truer than History” Is there any time you ask yourself why people live in the same Earth but different colors, why there are so many countries instead of just one nation or how explores discovered new lands? To answer all that questions, we have to look at the history. But is history always true? An ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said that literature is truer than history. Literature also reflects the past. It is very lively and colorful like history. Then why did he say that? Both literature and history are crucial, they compensate for each other and play their own important part in our society and life.
However, I still agree with Aristotle. We cannot say that literature is more important than history. They are both crucial and play a significant part in our life. It is just that literature is more personal. If history is about what is real or in the other hand, about fact, literature is about imagination, emotion and feeling. Most of the time, people read novels or poem in their free time for relaxing. If I have to choose between a historic documents and a novel, for example, “Gone with the wind”, I will take the novel because it’s more interesting and we can also study history in novel.
For example, the novel “Pride and Prejudice” which was written by Jane Austen gives us a chance to know about the society in early 19th century when women had to marry wealthy men to have a better life. During war, some countries’ historic documents were lost or in worse case, destroyed. The historians have to study about history mostly in literature works, art, music or ancient things like pottery or architecture. For instance, Vietnam is a very specific example. Vietnam is ruled by ancient Chinese people for more than one thousand years then Vietnamese people fought back and seized the power from China.
The peace lasted for a few centuries then came the French colonialism, the battle with American and some small fights to protect country’s borders. Therefore, most of historic papers are lost, even destroyed, what left is old houses, literature works, music, arts, stone steles, some other ancient things and many witnesses. Historians and archeologists have worked really hard to find any clues left. And the result for hard-working is always positive. Students can study about their own country from when it was begun till the present.
However, it’s somehow difficult to detect what is real or what is the product of imagination in literature works. Therefore, we need history to prove. History and literature, they are different but needed for each other so they cannot be separated. Come back to Aristotle’s saying that literature is truer than history. No one can stop people’s feeling. And people express their feelings, ideas, point of view in many ways, especially writing. That’s why there are poets, authors, playwrights and composers in the world. We can learn a lot of historic events in literature. British Literature
I don’t know what the difference between British Literature and American Literature is. It’s very difficult for me to realize and differentiate them. All I know is British English is not alike American English. American English is somehow more flexible and adjustable. Maybe, in some ways it can relate to American literature? England from my point of view is very traditional, romantic and peaceful. I can see it in people’s lifestyle, the countryside theme. English people like to drink tea more than coffee and in sometimes they’d like to have tea parties, especially old people.
The tradition also appears in the scenes of England: the Thames River, the Big Bang tower, Birmingham palace and the light green hill full of tea in Wales. One more thing that reminds me of the old time is England government’s system. Until present, they still have Queen, though the Queen now is just the symbol of country and not as powerful as in the past. American, in the other hand, is the united of many states and is much larger than England so American literature is really variety and colorful.
And that’s the only reason I can come up with to explain why students have to study British literature to understand more about other culture that share, in some ways, the same language. I want to read both American and British literature to understand more about the people and culture. Because, the way Western people think are very different from Asian people. Asians tend to hide their own feelings. For example, even if they are in bad mood they still smile. Old people in Asia are often seen with their nephews or nieces, not like Westerners are always with animals.
Asians also are very bad at punctuation, a real Asia person hardly comes to the meeting place on time, he might come earlier or late for about ten minutes. One more different thing is that they like hot food and drink. You can see that very clearly in old people, for example my grandmother, she drinks hot water, hot tea, hot coffee every time of the year even if it’s very hot in summer or not too cold in winter. But there is one thing, I think, it’s the same in both Asia and Western culture is that Asians really like to try Westerners’ things like using knife and fork, hamburger and hot dog and for Westerners is the same.
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