Essay about Literature and Society
Society influences literature in many ways, and the connections of literature with society are integral and pervasive. In fact, the range for social influences on literature is …show more content…
The influence on literature of the social power of the aristocratic group, restricted to some extent only in the theatre, continued plainly in English literature down to the eighteenth century. Only then did a real reading public develop on a wider scale. In place of patron came the publisher, who for a long time used to fleece the writer. It was only in the nineteenth century that the writer could liberate himself from the oppressive and humiliating dependence on the great, and win for him the dignity of independence.
Thus we see that the sociological conditions exert a great influence on the writer. But the writer is not only influenced by society: he influences it also. Literature not merely reproduces life, but also shapes it. People may model their lives upon the pattern of fictional heroes and heroines. They have made love, committed crimes and suicide according to great books like Goethe’s Sorrows of Werther and Dumas’ The Three Musketeers. Addison, by means of his satirical writings, changed, to some extent, the manners of his society; and Dickens’ novels