Literature in the Service of Society

Literature in the Service of Society

Don’t you think that why should we study literature in this age of Science and Technology? Is this not the wastage of time to study the literary forms like novels, drama, poetry or short stories? Of course there are many people who suffer from this misconception regarding literature. In fact the misconception that literature is useless and to study literature in our age is nothing but the wastage of time has become most powerful. The belief that literature is an inferior subject and it does not have any importance in the modern society and students who study literature cannot be successful in their lives, is totally based on ignorance and misconception. On the contrary, literature serves humanities and our societies in different ways. In this blog we are going to discuss how literature impacts our society and what important role it plays in the society and how literature and society are interdependent for their development and why we cannot ignore literature?

Contribution of Literature

The present study will prove that literature is not a pass time but it has a great contribution to the humanity and the society in which we live.

  • Since the dawn of the humanities, literature has been playing an important role in shaping the society in one or other ways.
  • It is literature that has played an important role in making our society a civilized one.
  • Without literature we cannot even think the existence of civilized human beings in the society.
  • In short, it is only literature, irrespective of language, that makes a man civilized in the society. Even those who are illiterate gets the lessons of civilization from the oral literature which is present in our society since a long time in the form of the art of telling story which shifts from generation to generation.
  • The reading of the literary forms like poetry, novel, plays and stories enriches our vocabulary and enhances our communicative and research skill.
  • As the legislators make rule for the development and progress of the country, the poets through their poetry correct the society for its development in right direction. Similarly the other form of literary genre like novel, stories and drama have the same function regarding the society.
  • It teaches us how to differentiate between good and bad things in the society, how to greet, meet and treat a person in the society. Without literature we will be in darkness in the society. We learn mannerism of the society through literature, oral or written. Either we are taught by our parents and teacher or we study our selves . Even then we become a good and civilized citizens.

 Role of Literature in Humanity

  • Literature reflects humanity. It makes us understand the human nature, human psychology and the conditions which affect our life. The best example of the human psychology in literature is Urdu short story writer, Sadat Hasan Minto’s short story, ‘Khol Do’ (Open) and O.Henery’s short story, ‘The Last Leaf’.

   Literature and Education

  • Literature is the source of our knowledge. It gives the knowledge of many things which we do not know before studying the literature. When we study poetry, we acquire aesthetic knowledge and through plays and novels we acquire realistic knowledge of the age or period in which they have been written. In this way literature enhances our knowledge of the past. Moreover, literature increases our vocabulary power and we acquire command over language which helps us in effective speaking in public and to present our thought in clear and lucid way.

The Role of Literature in Bringing Political and Social Changes in the Society

  • Literature also plays very important role in the politics of the country where it has been written. Charles Dicken’s novel, A Tale of Two Cities which was written during the French Revolution brought a great change in France.
  • Literature depicts the social, political and historical facts of the period in which it is written
  • One of the qualities and best services of literature to society is that it raises the contemporary issues of national and international importance
  • Literature is also the best and pure source of entertainment.


Thus we see that Literature is present in every corner of our lives and society. Literature encompasses almost everything in the society. There is literature in Psychology, in History, and in Education. In fact we cannot separate literature from the society. Literature and society are interdependent. If you like this blog, please leave a comment and please share among your friends.  


Prof.(Dr.) Asghar Ali Ansari, School of Language, Literature and Society, Jaipur National University, Jaipur, India