Should it be compulsory to study literature at school?

  • Yes, but not how it is done these days

    Literature is not only an important part of our world, but - with the right access - it can also be enriching and fun. But the way in which literature, especially classic literature, generally is taught in schools is more detrimental and cryptic than anything else.
    Learning poems by heart, dissecting essays and novellas or writing up character profiles from a short story are not actually helpful in learning to appreciate literature - and more importantly, learning that you are able and allowed to dislike literarary texts, as well, when you can express your reasons for it.
    The most important skill to learn is not to accept literature, but being able to differentiate which part of literature is worth your time and which isn't - which is different for each person.

  • Literature teaches us to be moral.

    All the love of our neighbor, the impulses towards action, help, and beneficence, the desire for removing human error, clearing human confusion, and diminishing human misery, the noble aspiration to leave the world better and happier than we found it,--motives eminently such as are called social,--come in as part of the grounds of culture, and the main and preeminent part. Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection. It moves by the force, not merely or primarily of the scientific passion for pure knowledge, but also of the moral and social passion for doing good.

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