I would like to cite the ideas of literature as they were employed in these two literary texts: Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Lu Xun’s A Diary of a Madman.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a canonized literary work in the 1300’s that tells twenty-four individual tales of pilgrims. Its richness in literary devices (i.e. the use of fabliau, allegory, romance fable among many others), having delivered by different voices, also brings a kind of isolation to Chaucer himself as the writer and as the narrator. It also presents varying thematic concerns that associates this classical work to be also value-laden in characteristic, although, arguably, some of the tales discord values and present other human tendencies. Hence, how we also classify literature as an imitation of life is represented in Chaucer’s work, too.
A Diary of a Madman is rich in cultural and historical context as Lu Xun’s daunting imageries in his story delineates feudal values that were present in China (the main character having felt that the people in his community were conspiring to eat him is a representation of corruption of the community adopting the said values). Although he used the Chinese vernacular language as his medium in writing, it does not entirely suffice the connotations in the story. Lu Xun’s short story gave a timely release in the middle of uprisings against oppression and foreign imperialism, thus, we also see literature as reflection of the writer’s life magnifying his view of the struggles occurring in his time.
The inherent characteristics imposed by the ideas that I learned about literature gave more room to understanding its variedness and receptiveness to conditions: as an imitation of our perception of what is real and unreal, as the product of the writer, as an embodying element of form, and also as a conduit that transcends into others far from its creator.