Literature: Mirror of Society

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe, Novel Pages: 3 (1178 words) Published: April 25, 2011
Literature: Mirror of Society

That literature is a reflection of the society is a fact that has been widely acknowledged. Literature indeed reflects the society, its good values and its ills. In its corrective function, literature mirrors the ills of the society with a view to making the society realize its mistakes and make amends. It also projects the virtues or good values in the society for people to emulate. Literature, as an imitation of human action, often presents a picture of what people think, say and do in the society. In literature, we find stories designed to portray human life and action through some characters who, by their words, action and reaction, convey certain messages for the purpose of education, information and entertainment. It is impossible to find a work of literature that excludes the attitudes, morale and values of the society, since no writer has been brought up completely unexposed to the world around him. What writers of literature do is to transport the real-life events in their society into fiction and present it to the society as a mirror with which people can look at themselves and make amends where necessary. Thus, literature is not only a reflection of the society but also serves as a corrective mirror in which members of the society can look at themselves and find the need for positive change. It is necessary to take a close look at some works of literature, in order to understand how literature actually reflects the society. Let’s begin with Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, a portrayal of the politics of opportunism prevailing in the Nigerian society. In the play, a former military officer, Major Lejoka-Brown, enters politics for the purpose of personal enrichment and is bent on using military tactics to achieve political success. His egotism, greediness and deceitfulness come to the fore both in his political and marital life. He lies to Liza, his American wife that she is his only wife, whereas he already...
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