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2019-06

Importance of Learning Western Literature
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Importance of Learning Western LiteratureImportance of Learning Western Literature

马晓雯老师

Literature is the art of national language which contains the country’s people’s emotions and the pursuit of truth or beauty, which implies writer’s thinking way and value orientation, specific ideology. Therefore, students can understand westerners’ thinking way and value, manners and customs by learning western literature.

In this way, students can be exposed to English spiritual culture. For example, reading the book The Great Gatsby written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald (2010: 1-147), we comprehend the American culture further, like the “disillusionment” of “American Dream” in the Jazz age. At that time, Fitzgerald Scott Fitzgerald was the leader of the Jazz age and one of the best America writers of the 20th century. And The Great Gatsby is an undisputed classic of American literature from the period following the First World War and is one of the great novels of the twentieth century. Lady Daisy once was girlfriend of Gatsby, but later she broke with Gatsby and married with Tom because of his wealth. Although Gatsby’s heart never changed, Daisy still abandoned him, Gatsby died miserably finally. Gatsby’s death was caused by himself and the society, which symbolized the disillusionment of American dream. By learning this novel, we can also imagine the American city vividly with noise and the American value orientation--money at that time. For instance the Jazz music represents the pursuits of freedom, equality and dignity for the black in 17 to 18 century. 

     All in all, reading western literature does good to improve students’ reading ability and thinking way, for the reason that every literature contains writer’s thinking way, values and even the country’s culture, and by learning, we are exposed to anther cultural atmosphere. Thus, learning English spiritual culture like literature, music, can enrich our cultural knowledge and form comprehensive psychological characteristics.

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