How Does Reading Literature Shock Us Out Of Our Own Selfishness?

1503 Words Dec 8th, 2015 7 Pages
As humans, we are inconsiderate and greedy animals who proceed down the most corrupted path to achieve our goals. Gone are our ethical values when our hunger for success is unleashed. Unconcerned with the wellbeing of others, our lethal daggers plunge into our vulnerable prey. With so many witnesses, why does no one step forward to save the victim? The answer is rather vague, and the ambiguity of the response is meant to mask the shameful reality; we, the human race, are selfishly disgusting. We are unable to face our selfishness, so, instead, we choose to ignore its existence. Through literature, we are exposed to this demoralising flaw within ourselves when literary characters mirror our own society’s struggle with selfishness. However, to what extent does reading literature shock us out of our own selfishness? How are we, the readers, reminded of our selfishness, and how effectively do we respond? In literature, we read about characters’ egoistic choices and, consequently, we reflect on our own similar selfish decisions. Thus, literature, to a considerable degree, is a stepping stone for readers to begin our journey on curing selfishness, but, like a deadly poison, finding the antidote for this overwhelming selfish plague is difficult, if not impossible. Literature utilizes textual strategies to describe gruesome details of a story so readers may compare the harsh experiences to our own placid difficulties. As a reader, imagery triggers both sympathy and empathy in…

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