Why Is Literature Important

Why is literature important for children and young adults? Literature provides insight and wisdom - in addition to entertainment and the pleasure of a good story.

Wisdom and Insight

Hard times generally produce wisdom, insight, and maturity for an individual. One of the valuable benefits of reading classical literature is that it helps develop those traits in the thoughtful reader.


The main characters in literature face the struggles of human existence. They learn and grow from their experience.

In a second hand way, the reader gains the insight of the main character. We don't want children to face all the injustices of society, to fear for a father lost at sea, or battle nature in order to survive.

But as they identify with the main character as they face such situations, the reader also gains the wisdom and insight through the literary experience.

Recognizing Good and Evil

Most literature deals with major human or social conflicts. The story of humanity is to find what is right and just, and do it.

Historical Perspective

Much of literature covers historical eras and themes. Literature can make history come alive. Instead of studying maps and memorizing dates, the reader is engaged with the people of that era. Their dialogue, culture, thoughts, and events are portrayed by characters the reader grows to understand.

Epic Themes

Why is literature important when compared to popular books?

Classical literature describes the important events and themes in human history. Whether it is the battle for an empire or the battle for a human heart, the outcome is important.

In comparison, popular books often have plots dealing with less urgent issues. Who will win the contest, where is the puppy, will the popular kids at school include me?

Such themes may be issues today's young people deal with and identify with. But it provides them with less insight for facing the wider issues that face them in the future.

Why do you think literature is important?

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