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Word Count: 790
The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines literature as writings in prose or verse especiallywritings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universalinterest This concept of thoughts and ideas on paper is a good start but does not thoroughlydefine literature Literature takes many forms and has evolved over time along with humankind Therefore to thoroughly define literature one must discuss the elements of literature the historyof literature and what literature has become to todays societyAs diverse as people themselves literature takes on many forms The three major formsare prose poetry and drama This paper will discuss mainly prose literature Prose is defined inMirriam-Webster as a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greaterirregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everydayspeech Prose is also different from drama in that prose does not require the acting out of itscontents Literature allows people to live vicariously That means that is used to pass ideas andemotion of a unique situation to people who would otherwise not be able to experience them This is the main purpose of all literature Literature does this through both real situations whichhave happened called non-fiction and imagined situations called fiction These situations allowpeople to satisfy their innate desire to solve problems The source of these problems inliterature is called conflict Imagery allows a writer to compare the unique situation they arewriting about to a situation that may be closer to what the reader has experienced Symbols areimages that are used to represent otherwise intangible ideas for example the river of life Literature delivers these situations through stories Stories have a plot which is the method tohow the story will be told Stories also help to pass on lessons through time which allows peopleto access the knowledge of history This passing of information is essential to grow as a species Without literature man would just be another animal foraging for food Literature has evolved
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