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Global understanding refers to the knowledge a culture possess about cultures different than their own. This knowledge includes understanding or education on the history, traditions, values, and cultural aspects.
Some of the most common concepts in literature (or literary concepts) are genre, plot, setting, point of view, characterization, tone, and theme. African Americans and Hispanics can use these concepts to help with global understanding of other cultures.
The global understanding of literary genres educates one on the artistic movements which have existed as a part of history. With each movement (as in Romantic, Realism, Gothic, Existentialism), readers come to understand the most important ideologies within a movement.
A plot illustrates the movement of a story and offers focus of the action. The most educational aspect of a plot tends to be its rising action and climax. For cultures other than the one depicted in the text, the rising action and climax allows them to come to understand the conflicts of another culture and how the culture may tend to deal with conflict.
The setting of a text offers the most direct education on another culture. It describes the land, the time, and the social environment of the text.
A point of view of a text educates the reader on how one looks at something. This ca offer great insight into cultural differences which may exist between the author, his or her characters, and the reader.
Characterizations in texts allow readers to be educated upon what type of people exist within a certain text (time and location specific). This, again, educates readers on the character of a person (the narrator or characters defined within the constraints of the text).
Tone educates readers upon how a certain culture may look at a specific topic. Tone can reflect an author's thoughts, feelings, and biases on the subject, characters, and intended audience.
Themes give readers insight into the subjects which the author tends to find most important. Many themes teach readers about a specific ideology or moral the author wishes to illustrate.
Essentially, concepts in literature are able to teach different cultures, African American and Hispanic (since the question focuses upon these), about other cultures based upon the themes, characterizations, plots, and ways of life of another culture. Although some texts are explicit in its teaching, others must be analyzed in order to draw out the educational resources the text provides.
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