Jul 30, 2008

Discovering Truth through Reading Fiction

By Morgan Brookes Wilkins

…great literature searches the human heart to find in it the laws of moral existence, distinguishing man from beast.
--Russell Kirk,“The Moral Imagination.”

Humanism is an ethical discipline, intended to develop the truly human person, the qualities of manliness, through the study of great books.
-- Irving Babbitt, “Literature and the American College”

Great literature captures the essence of morality and teaches us what it means to be genuinely human. It places its’ characters at the crossroads of right and wrong, and visually depicts their struggle between the opposing forces of good and evil. As readers, we find ourselves transported into the story, challenged to make sense of the strange new world and the emphatic moral choices presented to its characters. These characters cause us to face truths about ourselves, both ugly and beautiful, and compel us to consider what decisions we would make if confronted with the same situations.

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