Friday, May 9, 2014

Literature, History, and Ideology

        I find it interesting to investigate the relations among literature, history, and ideology.

        It is meaningful to understand historical context in the time a piece of literature was created when pursuing the deeper understanding of the literature. Historical context is the political, social, cultural, and economic setting in a given period of time. The cultural historical contexts influence the language, content, and style of the writing. Literature comes from life, and it is like a mirror, which reflect the world and the life of people in certain historical situations.
         When we read the work of Shakespeare, our teacher introduced the historical background of time of Queen Elizabeth and its leading naval and commercial power of the Western world. London was the cultural and economic center, whose dramatists and poets were among the best of the day. Shakespeare lived in that time and his works represent the world around him at that time. Elizabethan Age reminds me about Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), which was the most prosperous periods in Chinese history. It was also the heyday of classical Chinese poetry. I love reading poems and Du Fu was my favorite poet in that time. His poetry covered politics, social problems, and even his own personal family life.
        We are influenced by the ideologies from the literature we read and the information we perceived. Sometimes the government control the media through censorship, and the news and the books we read are biased to a certain degree. When we heard the perspectives from other ideologies, we feel the propaganda might be like brain-washing to a certain degree. I think the best way to learn about the world is to read from various views with their authentic understandings and then we can make a judgement and construct our own ideologies maybe..

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