Thursday, June 23, 2011
What’s The Meaning Of This?!
This week The Literary Blog Hop over at The Blue Bookcase wants to know: Should literature have a social, political, or any other type of agenda? Does having a clear agenda enhance or detract from its literary value?
I’m going to try to keep my answer simple this week: It depends on the author. The example of what an author shouldn’t do that Connie gives is excellent. Even though it’s from a book I really enjoyed, Jane Eyre, Brontë’s stopping the story to push her agenda takes away from the work. I also liked the examples Connie gives of how a social/political agenda works in literature. Like 1984, I think The Handmaid’s Tale as well as Margaret Atwood’s other dystopian works, Oryx and Crake and The Year Of The Flood have agendas or are at least commentaries on social issues. I believe H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine falls into the same category. The Eloi and Morlocks are how he saw the evolution of the class system. I’d like to use a literary example that isn’t dystopian or science-fiction, but none come to mind right now*.
What books do you think do a good or bad job at presenting a social or political issue?
* I blame the baby brain for any lack of mental function right now. After the baby is born, I’ll be blaming lack of sleep.