(In lieu of my column article, I am featuring my son, Heaven Arespacochaga’s school essay on the importance of literature. As parents, we may learn a thing or two from the perspective of a 15-year-old teenager.)
Why in the world should I read and study literature? Will I need it in real life? “Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time, when they learn they’re not attracting attention with it.” (Lee 78).
Compare this quote to a flower not being fed for days, then dying out—or even just the stomach without food, maybe a maneuver you use to get past your opponent, but since you haven’t learned much it doesn’t have as much groove.
Literature is the food of the mind and soul. Literature gives you ammunition. Literature stimulates your thoughts to give it peace, maybe darkness. That is why we need to read and study literature.
We aren’t going to devour a book literally, but figuratively. We devour literature to find meaning. We do this to fill our craving of curiosity, but literature isn’t feeding the stomach, it is something more. Literature feeds the soul. You see the soul gives you a pep to your step, and if you’re running empty, then you are not running happy—satisfied.
There is more to life than a biology textbook, more to life than proofs and equations. A certain intellect is required to decipher the meanings of stories in literature . Just like how eating certain foods give you different nutrients, reading certain literature will give you many moral values.
Just like when I read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, I learned so many things about how to treat my friends, how to redeem myself, and you really tend to reflect after reading good literature, but back to being able to decipher certain parts of it like, “For you a thousand times over…,” you actually have to weigh you options on what phrases like this actually mean through contextual clues but first you must feed your mind and soul with the basics.
When you reload a gun, you put new bullets in to the gun because you simply cannot use the same ammunition to use in a gun, or else your bullets will be much weaker and a possibility of your gun recoiling can happen, same goes with a conversation. Your words are like ammunition and if you keep using the same words every time, it’s like you’re firing the same bullets. People will get bored of you and you’ll lack a the ability to be able to keep up with a deep conversation. People want heavy artillery, big words. Not the same ordinary words every single time. That’s what reading and studying literature does for you. When you read it, you take in all the figurative language and debonair words without even realizing it, then when you actually study it, that’s when you start using the words in conversations. Language is man’s way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone that separates him from the lower animals (Angelou 93). Having a strong sense of language alone puts you in a different class from others, a remarkable one at that.
During your reading of literature, it’s not rare to be entertained by the millions of stories it has to offer. Literature has a way of either putting you in a jolly mood, depressed mood, sad mood, worried mood, excited mood, confused mood, mad mood, and etc., depending on what you read. How literature can make you feel a certain way, that’s is the beauty of it, that’s what makes literature, well, fun! I read the book Band of Brothers by Stephen E Ambrose, and no doubt, I actually felt as if I was part of the frontlines during “D-Day.”
It’s like authors make you their puppet by putting strings on you, because they can lead you to feeling a certain way. You are not only moved by reading literature. You are touched by it.
Literature. It feeds the soul and feeds your mind with subliminal information you never thought you’d see.
Literature. It gives you an ammunition of words, words that keep you interesting, to be proficient in your language, and ahead of your class.
Literature. It can give you peace, maybe even darkness.
Literature is more than just a subject that shows a letter grade on your report card.
Literature gives you a mentality that lasts a life-time. That is why we read and study literature.
Paco Arespacochaga is a musician/songwriter for the award winning band Introvoys (www.introvoys.net). He runs his own media company, 2heaven Media ( www.2heavenmedia.com). He is also a husband, a father and a friend. Read more of his thoughts by going to www.pacoarespacochaga.com and send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org