Thinking is the reason why literature is enjoyable. In order for thinking to occur, the reader must begin to understand and decipher the author’s work while forming an opinion. I finally found the true meaning of reading, when I learned how to think. My personal development in thinking is greatly influenced by my grade eleventh teacher, Ms. Lawton. Literacy has helped innovate the way I think by enhancing my comprehension skills, as well as improving my ability to communicate by elevating my writing skills. Literacy has the ability to expand a person’s mind, and alter a way one thinks. By learning how to apply critical thinking, a person can learn from literature by learning the mistakes of the characters, as well as being able to absorb life lessons through pieces of literature.
Ever since kindergarten, I never had a particular interest in literacy. I understood the fact that reading and writing was a form of communication, but I never thought about literacy anything beyond that. Thus, because of this, I never took English seriously and therefore I never enjoyed it. As a result, throughout most of high school, English was one of the courses I greatly struggled with. I would say when dealt with interpreting a book, I was always faced with insanely high pressure. I don’t know how to extrapolate on ideas that the author comes forward with because I only read what I read.
“Is it wrong to trust in a beautiful lie if it helps you get through life?” (Toews, A Complicated Kindness. )
Before, when I did not know how to interpret ideas, I would answer this question by saying yes, a lie cannot get you through life because it is not the truth. But after attending Ms. Lawton’s class where I learned to think and take pleasure from literature, I would soon have a different answer. I knew that after going through grade eleven English, I would no longer be constricted by my *inside the box* thinking.
Not only did Ms. Lawton teach me the fundamentals of reading and writing, but the one thing she taught me that changed my view on literature, was the importance of critical thinking. As obvious as this may seem, many people don’t know the proper technique in order to implement critical thinking. There are a variety of techniques such as comparing the characters motives and ideas to our own lives and asking questions.
“How should I behave in a certain situation” or “What can my own experiences teach me.”
What these techniques made me realize, was that literature helps us in our everyday lives. We can learn through literature my avoiding the mistakes in the characters of the story. Literature can also deepen our sense of emotion by inspiring us to do things that benefit others. From literature, we form our own opinions and perspectives on the world. From that point on, literature was more to me than just a story. To me, it was a unique form of human connection that reaches into our souls and supplies us with love and wisdom.
The impact of literature on my life is phenomenal. Whenever I approach new topics or new ideas, I am constantly implementing my critical thinking techniques to gain a better understanding of the piece of literature that I am reading. My new way of thinking was especially effective on my recent book analysis on Hamlet. Before grade 11, I would read Hamlet as a story. But Hamlet is more than just a story. Hamlet is about a prince who suffers from the viciousness of reality, which triggers his different types of alter egos. This clouded his judgement and resulted in him making sinful mistake. Hamlet taught us more about human emotions than what I could’ve ever learnt. Therefore I needed a different way to understand Hamlet. I decided to approach Hamlet by putting myself in his shoes. In order for me to comprehend and recognize the story of Hamlet, I would need to be able to relate with