Benefits of Reading Literature

There are many benefits of reading literature. The study of literature improves our sensibility and provides us with a certain depth of perception. It consoles and braces us up in our hours of gloom, stimulates and ennobles our morality. It helps us widen our outlook and develop our personality. As a matter of fact, it has diverse benefits. It has academic benefits, cognitive benefits, social benefits and emotional benefits.

It is universally admitted that reading literature is delightful. It gives readers immense pleasure. Young students read different kinds of literary works basically for pleasure. Good literature helps them develop a reading habit and this habit has a positive impact on the academic studies also. By reading it students get exposed to the authentic use of language which ultimately contributes to the development of their writing skill also. Students can enrich their vocabulary by reading it also.

A literary text does not have one meaning only. It often has a surface meaning and an underlying connotative meaning. In order to understand a text fully a reader has to delve deeper into it. A text can be interpreted in different ways. This develops the thinking capacity of the students. Readers of literature enjoy a greater ability to think and reason about the world than other people.

Another benefit of reading literature is the social benefit. A reader lives in a particular society. He can be influenced by some negative aspects of the society. But in literature they come to know about many characters coming from different social classes, races and ethnic groups.

The next benefit of reading literature is the emotional benefit. Literature is the subject of liberal education and its chief object is to develop human personality. It is supposed to bring about a harmonious development of the human mind to create a balanced personality. Reading literature can expand readers’ emotional range. Good literature can help readers to get rid of bad emotions like anger, heartache and loss. It can also help readers develop positive emotions like love and sympathy for others. It gives readers an opportunity to grapple with and process strong emotions in a safe setting without feeling overwhelmed by those emotions.

So, it can be said that reading literature is not pleasure only. It has both an entertainment value and a utilitarian value.

Children Under Stress

Most children react to these stresses with temporary behavior disorders, such as nightmares, bed wetting, temper tantrums or excessive fears. Serious difficulties arise only when the stresses are overwhelming or when the adults are too occupied to attend to the child’s signals of distress. Skilled psychological help then is needed although the reactions of a child are “normal” in the sense that any child under these conditions would react similarly. Help for children under stress fulfills a double purpose, the relief of present anxieties and the prevention of personality defects in later.

Disturbed behavior arousing anger in other people may be the first indication that a child is struggling with an emotional problem. Before proceeding to curing remedies it is important to know what usual causes of stress in children are. Mostly problems stem out when there is a conflict between inner wishes on the one hand and the external world on the other or between inner urges and one’s own conscience.

We cannot neglect the harmful effects of bereavement. It has grim impressions more often due to its long term social consequences and emotional reactions of the surviving parent than to the impact of the death itself upon the child. Further there is much evidence that the children from disrupted families have more behavior disturbances than children whose homes are intact. Families incomplete because of illegitimacy and those broken by divorce are different from families disrupted by death, in that the remaining parents tend to be censured by their own families and by society in general. A leading cause of stress in children is a neurotic family. A marriage in which the unresolved childhood conflicts of both parents are repeatedly enacted is the basis of the neurotic family. Though outwardly a family may appear perfectly stable and united but there are repeated violent quarrels and even temporary separations. Children belonging to such families are characterized by frustration and discontent.

We have discussed how the disruption of family structure can increase a child’s difficulties in adapting to the family life. But there is a second series of reasons those of the outside world. More important are the demands made on a child to confirm standards of achievement and social behavior. Failure in the outer world is accompanied by loss of self-esteem and has profound effects on personality developments. Despite of the disorders induced by adverse family interaction social and cultural differences between the sub-groups of society may cause anxiety and makes it difficult for a child to concentrate on his performance.

To curb the growing rate of stress in children it is necessary to take some measures. Preventive psychiatry, like preventive medicine, focuses not on the individual patient nor even on the individual family but on wider social groups. The behavior disorders of childhood, the neurotic illness of later life, antisocial personality distortion that interfere with work, with animate relationships such as marriage and parenthood, all these are psychiatric disturbances which theoretically at least are preventable.

In considering what society can do to prevent and ameliorate such psychiatric disorders it is important to know that it is caused by two sets of circumstances: experiences of overwhelming anxieties and experiences of inadequate socialization often associated with parental and cultural deprivation. The field is still wide open for exploration. Housing policies, reforms in education, the administration of National Health Service and changes in our legal system are all social processes likely to affect mental health. There is room for more experimental investigations of the effects of proposed policy changes before they are implemented on a nation- wide basis.

Society takes responsibility for a considerable part of child rearing. The experiences provided for children in schools are in large measure under public control. Through the training of teachers and the organization of schools and classrooms, society has a chance to improve and modify the major part of the environment of children. The expectations are that schools should not only compensate children for cultural deficiencies in their own homes but should in addition provide an environment in which generally acceptable social standards can be acquired, especially by children from disorganized in which these standards are lacking. But to transmit social standards it requires techniques quite different from traditional teaching methods. Social behavior can be modified if a teacher deliberately conducts the interactions in the classrooms in such a way to foster satisfaction rather than frustration. The prevailing environment should have co-operation, efficiency, cohesion, trust and mutual identification.

Another solution which is quite practical is to provide an expert advice for each newly wedded couple. By means of regular discussions and proper training the problems can be overcome. Usually our curriculum is deficient in inculcating an awareness of minor psychological problems and their solutions. Petty differences are aggravated resulting into the destruction of the domestic bliss. Any therapeutic help given to adults has indirect beneficial effects on children although this has not been substantiated because of the difficulty of long term follow up studies, the hope is that if we can make specific improvements in the environment of our children this will also contribute to their mental health as adults.