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Word Count: 816
The definition of literature in the broadest sense is everything that has ever been written Anything from the earliest poems of Homer to todays web pages can be considered literature But for a specific sense there are various kinds of literature Literature can be written in a specific language like English Literature or be written by a specific culture such as African Literature But literature really means more than printed words It is considered a fine art The word literature comes from the French phrase belles-lettres which means beautiful writing When a piece of work is called literature it is usually considered a great work of artThere are two main classes of literature fiction and nonfiction Fiction is writing that an author creates from the imagination Authors may include personal experience or facts about real people or events but they combine these facts with imagined situations Most fiction is narrative writing such as novels and short stories Fiction also includes drama and poetry Nonfiction is factual writing about real-life situations The principal forms of nonfiction include the essay biography autobiography and diary People read literature for a variety of reasons The most common reason for reading is pleasure People read to pass the time or for information and knowledge Through literature people meet characters they can identify with and sometimes find solutions for their own problems With literature a person can often understand situations they could not otherwise understand in real life Often just the arrangement of the words can be enjoyable just as a child likes the sound of Ring Around the Rosie even though they might not understand what the words meanThere are four elements of literature characters plot theme and style A good author has the ability to balance these elements creating a unified work of art The characters make up the central interest of many dramas and novels as well as biographies and autobiographies A writer must
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