ELEMENTS OF LITERATURE AND THE COMBINED ARTS
At present, not all written works can be considered literature. To understand a good literary work, we should know first the important elements of literature. It is undeniable that the medium of literature is language, and language is composed of words that are combined into sentences to express ideas, emotions or desires. Writers, therefore, should be careful in their choice of words and expressions of their emotions and ideas in order to carefully organize sentences that would manifest a high sense of value. In other words, a writer should bear these objectives in mind: 1. To strive in raising the level of the reader’s humanity and 2. To accomplish the purpose of making one better person, giving him a high sense of value. The important elements of literature are:
1. Emotional appeal
2. Intellectual appeal
3. Humanistic value
Emotional appeal is attained when the reader is emotionally moved or touched by any literary work like: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
Elizabeth B. Browning
How Do I Love Thee?
Rizal’s two revolutionary novels, the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, are good illustrations of literature of intellectual appeal. Both add knowledge or information and remind the reader of what he has forgotten. Specially, in one of his philosophical ideas “on consecration to a great idea,” he said: “Don’t you realize that it is a useless life which is not consecrated to a great idea? It is a stone wasted in the fields without becoming part of any edifice.” (Simoun to Basilio) Humanistic value can be attained when a literary work makes the reader an improved person with a better outlook in life and with a clear understanding of his/her inner self. To illustrate, here is a stanza from Amado V. Hernandez’s poem entitled “Foreigner,” which was...
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