English Study Notes Form 6 English Language Notes Msomi Maktaba All Notes



Is a body of principle that gives a learner the origin development and essential qualities of literature. They examine different definition and treatments with the word literature. They also explain how literary works do differ from other works such as law books, science, mathematics etc.

Literature is a multi – dimensional concept hence there have been various attempts to define the term literature as follows:-

– Literature is the product of human imagination employing language creatively to reflect man’s relationship within his /her environment (shake speare)

– Literature is mirror that reflects the reality of the society. (Nkwera)

–  Literature is the use of language in a peculiar way (different from normal language use) in order to reflect social realities through artistic use of language (Gibbon)

– Literature is imaginative and creative  writing which uses language and arbitrary assemblage of devices

–  Literature is an imitation based on reality of the society.

–  Literature is the work of art which use language creatively to express human realities (the universe is the source of these realities to be expressed)

– Literature is the expression of emotion feelings of someone.

Generally, Literature can be defined as any work of art that use language creatively to reflect social realities within the society aiming at educating entertaining, criticizing, conscientious or worming the society? As Literature it use have Universality, artist, work as well as audience  

  • Key words to consider

    –  Art (Organization of events, characterization, flow of incidents

    –  Use language

    – Creatively  Words

    – Social realities

    Literature is a product of the society; it therefore attempts to reflect the social activities with an interest to not only entertain but also to educate.

    The first intention demands that literature has to be artistic in order to provide entertainment to the consumer, however in order to educate the society, literature must uncover its skills and sexiest ways for remedial changes.

    Social realities

    In order to accomplish this opinion the work of art must be accordant of the same society it’s talking about. It’s evident therefore that a goods literary work of art is a product of the society, by the outsides, Since literature aims to benefit the society, it has to work upon the daily activities  of the society, infect it must be serious commentary, judge and critic of the society.


     Words are the brushes to which a literary artist paints the picture of the society.


         In defining the word art, two ideas emerge;


  1. That  art is a skill
  2. That  art is an item or a product of creativity
  3.  Art is a skill


This paradigm argues that are the skill used in making or doing different things e.g. the art of basket weaving, the art of tuning a piano, the art of scoring a goal.  In this sense there are many arts, infect there are a many arts as there are deliberate specialized activities for human beings to engage in.

 Art is used in many other ways. E.g. useful arts this refers to those arts which produce beautiful objects for everyday use. Decorative arts these are arts which produce items for decorations and also for their own use.

 The word art is used more specialized way e.g. it is widely used to mean a painting, a novel, music composition to mention a few such activities designed only to product a work of art are after called fine art.

Why Art

Creations of art serve different reasons, for example in human life people have created different tools for cutting, digging, and have needs of special satisfactions things worth looking at or worth hearing. Others want memorable things these need are either formal or recoverable interests.

Formal interests

These are found with people who are interested in order; they enjoy patterns of contrast and balances for 

Pre – historic  people curved the handles of their hunting knifes in regular pleasing patterns objects in our homes are arranged in regular patterns, today we dress up, we wear jewellery and arrange our dresses in certain ways depending on our interests these are  examples of formal interests.

Commemorative interests
Some events and ideas take a very high importance in our religious, social and political life. In different societies people use some formal symbols or ceremonies to make such events memorable, for example, per-historic people used dances and rituals to ensure success at seed time or harvest time, ancient Greeks represented with different symbols, the ideal human politics of strength, nglish-swahili/courage” target=”_blank”>courage and beauty in there statues of Gods and goddesses.

Today we mark a marriage with speech songs and ceremonies and therefore give the occasion form in order to mark it memorable.

WORK OF ART                                                                                                   

An Aesthetic experience

Works of art result from the formal and commemorative coming together, they satisfy our desires for form and at the same time remind us of something we consider when we experience a work of art we do not feel the two separate interests, they join to create a special experience for us. This is aesthetic experience.

Examples of works of Art

  1. The great epic poem ODYSSEY appeals to as in a way that unites the two interests into one, it is not only a story about basic human problems and a study of the resourcefulness and adaptability of human nature and it is also a cunningly told with suspense and a climax.
  2. Vincent van Gogh paintings of the sun flower is not just a formal composition of shape and color, it has a bright vividness that stays in our minds as a kind of symbol of nature busting with life.
  3. Berte Thorvald sen “Shepherd boy” is a delightful marble statue typical of a new-classical style. It vividly shows the beauty of youth just as it captures our imagination thus creating a universe of ideas, works of art may differ widely in the proportions which they combine formal and commemorative interest’s fine arts and literature usually amount to the conclusion that this picture and that poem induce the same mood in a person. The various arts have their individual history and a different internal structure of elements although they are in constant relationship with each other, these relationships are not influences which start from one point and determine evolutions of other arts.

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