Stereotypes and Identity Reflected in Literature Analysis

At Issue

(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

Literature reflects the preconceptions, perceptions, and misperceptions of its time, its authors, and its readers. The inextricable relationship between literature and culture reflects the continual clash of ideas, assumptions, values, and worldviews inherent in human society. Fiction, drama, poetry, and exposition mirror and create the stereotypes that individuals, groups, and entire societies hold. Much has been written and debated on different groups’ portrayals in literary works; full-length critical works are devoted to the stereotypes of many different groups. Readers, critics, school boards, and others have challenged the value of particular works of literature accused of stereotypical portrayals. The word “stereotype” itself has different connotations, from simply denoting a type to castigating certain groups. The whole range of possible interpretations can be found in American works.