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What is the function of literature?

            It can be said that literature has many different functions. There are many different types of literature, such as prose, theatre or poetry, and each example of these will have been written to fulfil a specific function.
             On the whole, literature is a type of entertainment, and its forms were created for the reader to enjoy. Entertainment and escapism is one of its main functions, and this could be the reason that many works of fiction can, at first, be related to real life, but then rapidly change. This is demonstrated in violent thrillers, romance novels full of deceit and betrayal, or stories of other dimensions and magic. The tales of ‘Narnia’ by C.S Lewis, tell the story of children who find a route through a wardrobe into another world and have dramatic adventures there. It does however, begin with the real life setting of evacuees during the Second World War. Entertainment is the reason so much money is spent at the cinema each year. Films are another aspect of literature, one which takes this distraction a step further by providing the imagery that is only described in a novel. This escape from fact into a fictional world created by the writer is an opportunity for diversion for the reader and this is an important function of literature.
             Another valuable aspect of literature is education, and it is not only used to teach schoolchildren. Literature is also used to document the past. Many novels have been based around leading figures, and huge numbers of non-fiction books about people, places and events have been written. Film makers and playwrights use a historical event to put their own views and a fictional storyline across with a realistic setting as a backdrop. For example, a film about the Vietnam war will not only show the creator’s interpretation of events, but the audience is usually left with no doubt as to the writer’s opinion of whether the war should have taken place.

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