The idea behind literary merit is that specific works of literature have stood the test of time and the message(s) that the author imparts have timelessness and a relevance that goes without question over time. It entertains the reader and is interesting to read. Is universal in its appeal (i.e., the themes and insights are not only accessible to one culture or time period). It is also said that it shows thematic depth: The themes merit revisiting and study because they are complex and nuanced. One of these works is "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri (1967-present). This piece of literature is a work of literary merit because it has a message that is timeless and one that has stood the test of time at the same time. The second novel we read that showed literary merit was, Trifles by Susan Glaspell (1876-1948). The novel is about a man, Mr. Wright, who was strangled to death supposedly by his wife, Mrs. Wright, and a group of women who are worrying over things that are "trifle." Unknowingly to the sheriff these trifle things are evidence that Mrs. Wright was uneasy in the time before the murder. The third work is a play, "In a Station of the Metro," by Ezra Pound (1885-1972). The poem is only two lines and is really a work of art. In just two lines it gives the reader an image of the beauty of humans and life. The last poem that shows literary merit is "The Red Wheelbarrow," by William Carlos Williams. This poem relies heavily on its imagery in order to get its point across. It shows us that humans want meaning out of everything in life whether it is a person, an animal, or inanimate objects.
Literary merit has many different meanings. One of them is a message that withstands the test of time and has timelessness. "Interpreter of Maladies," by Jhumpa Lahiri is an example of literary merit because it has a message that has withstood the test of time and has timelessness.