Literature is, in some cases, bound by the forces of society, or it may dictate those forces. It is a tool of expression and a mirror of society’s current state. However, in most cases, especially in restricted societies, literature is not seen as a positive element, but rather an element of dissidence. In these cases, it is considered a means for deviance and subversion. This is perhaps the scenario in the People’s Republic of China. Literature that does not serve the state and is inconsistent with ideology of the state is strictly prohibited.
Dissent from society
Individuals whose ideas are transcendent and revolutionary in most cases are treated as radicals and a source of dissent in a particular political community. The establishment and the institutions consider it more pervasive if these ideas are proliferated via a popular medium, such as through written materials. Even if the work is a genuine representation of creativity and brilliance, it is often seen as a social evil. This is truer so if the work is a reevaluation or criticism of society’s current state.
Literature produced in this context tends to be a very good source of social assessment. In fact, the highest honor in the realm of literature, the Nobel Prize, is usually given for such works. The recent recipient of it is a Chinese author who had the courage to write and deconstruct the society of his time. Unfortunately, the state is not yet fully ready for such acts of expression, thus he was viewed as a subversive dissident.
Change begins with a catalyst — someone who takes the initiative. Change on the social scale cannot take place without a precursor. An ideological revolution cannot sweep across society, unless there are those who are willing to raise the idea of it. It is ironic that China, the birth place of the Cultural Revolution, is attempting to hold back a revolution of ideas. It is said that the bold actions of the Chinese Nobel Prize Winner will set the stage for sweeping change in China, especially with new, innovative ideas. This is something for it to consider, in terms of trends in its social scheme.
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