In our modern day, literature and writing seems to be disconnected from most teenagers and young adults than ever before. Not only that, but adults are displaying this disconnect as well, focusing on how STEM fields are all the rage.
I am a Creative Writing major with a Philosophy minor. Usually when I am asked what my major is, relatives will reply with, “Oh, are you going to be a teacher?” which is the number two most triggering statement I have ever received in my life. What is number one? When classmates, relatives and others tell me this: “Literature is kinda dying; what are you going to do with your degree?”
Hold up here. Literature is dying you say?
Here’s a message to my fellow college students: How about the books you are supposed to read for class on the syllabus? I know what you are thinking; you read those (sometimes) because you are obligated to, not because you want to. You are still asked to read them though and if you want an education, then it’s hard not to read some literature. Therefore, reading is dead to you. You would rather scroll on Sparknotes for the plot than engulf yourself in some silly narrative.
I get it: the overfilling piles of schoolwork make it hard for young people to appreciate writing and reading, since they have no choice but to read and write. Furthermore, the books that are chosen by professors and teachers are usually The Grapes of Wrath or something by Shakespeare. Although some Shakespearean works are spectacular, they cannot always be relevant to your average person in the 21st century. I know, we don’t all have the same problems as Oedipus, where he ends up marrying his mother and killing his father. Schools teach us that literature and reading are boring.
People display their disgust for reading on a daily basis with phrases like “Ew, you like to read?” or “Wow, I could never be a writer. Too much work.” To them, I say this: writing and reading connects people from history and from today. You don’t have to be an active participant in the writing world to appreciate it, but I would highly encourage you to try.
Writing is an art form as much as painting, music or dancing is. Individuals sometimes do not realize how many different forms of writing there are: prose and poetry, but also journalistic writing, song writing, script writing and the list goes on. All of these call for the writer to have creative skills in storytelling. For poets, it is moreso imagery and feeling: for journalists, it’s usually weaving a story to get get someone kick started on the article.
When I say literature is not dying, what I mean is that the stories that are told in books and through writing give great insight into what it means to be human. People love to hear and read stories, so therefore, literature will never be dead.