Literature embraces universality and remains profoundly significant consistently. It is mighty enough to supersede all the narrow interests in favor of humanity as a whole.
The best part of literature is it never deals with a particular community. Every time it addresses the society of man. And this is also the reason literature that emerges through the spoken words remains more appealing than that of the written word.
In truth, spoken words can easily relate to a man’s thinking, including the one who feels less interested in reading texts. In short, written literature may not always reach every individual. For example, the acted Shakespearean dramas and the recited words of Homer even today appear universally more appealing. On the other hand, the written social life segments of the modern-day playwrights, novelists, and poets usually appeal to a section or, more specifically, certain social classes.
Moreover, it is a proven truth that a novel with an individualistic standpoint can’t signify human society as a whole. Also, the poem that depicts a specific community can’t relate to the entire human society. On the contrary, Homer’s ‘The Iliad’ and ‘The Odyssey’ still carry a mass appeal. In a word, the legendary author’s two epic poems manifest how literature embraces universality. It shows how these famous creations emerge as intensely appealing to human concepts and thinking by exceeding all boundaries.
Literature can indeed connote the appeal to human interests with a broader perspective and even simple human emotions.
It is no doubt true that people usually talk about specific country or race-literature. For instance, there is a common tendency to categorize it as the Teutonic, Greek, etc. And the typical reason behind justifying this classification is that each of the said literature carries specified and seeming marks even in current times. Furthermore, these marks emerge from the native people of particular nations. But, in reality, good literature knows no boundary. It never signifies any specific nationality. It is like an open arena that prioritizes the nurturing of humanity.
Good literature mainly gets occupied with fundamental emotions like love and hatred, happiness and sorrow, fear and faith. It is undeniable that these passions remain human nature’s essential parts. And the increasing reflection of these emotions ensures increasing awaken responses in natives of every nation and race.
It is the priority of good literary works to relate human passions profoundly. Whenever men appear heroic, they feel the urge to acknowledge and relate it to the proficiency of Homer. Similarly, when people feel love for their children, their feelings must get stirred by the tragic fate of King Lear and Oedipus. Now, all these instances emphasize a big reality that words of notable literary pieces, be it songs, poems or plays, entice “universal human interest.” And through this all-pervading appeal, the linking between literature and humanity settles as permanent.
Nonetheless, some critics question this appeal to universality while discussing modern literature’s limited or confined appeal. There is no denying that a portion of the modern-era writers had to depend on great men’s patronage. Their creations show how these primarily sufficed their patrons. And this resulted in limiting these writers’ potency regarding profound compositions. The only achievement was the refined delicacy offered by the works.
This contrast between the ever-green famous writers and the modern era writers can easily get traced in the distinction between popular balladists and Chaucer. Almost every individual on earth must agree that Chaucer is a great artist with deep insight into human life. His works are matchless. But a deep analysis shows that the English poet lacks the appealing spontaneity of the popular ballad-writers.
Even the complexity of language in expressing feelings by some modern writers manifests how it unfolded an idiosyncrasy. And this manifestation marks the said distinction more evidently. William Wordsworth was perhaps the first literary person who understood this limitation. To address this issue, he first opined that poetry should have the language of common speech.
According to Wordsworth, literature should get freed from its class confinement. It should emerge as the expression of the commoner’s feelings and thoughts. The eminent romantic poet’s version specifies that when literary works connect people’s thoughts and emotions universally, the saying that literature embraces universality becomes permanent.