It’s time for the Literary Blog Hop again. This week’s question is:
Should literature have a social, political, or any other type of agenda? Does having a clear agenda enhance or detract from its literary value?
I’m inclined to think that as a writer one has a tremendous opportunity to put forth one’s world view to a large and varied audience. If the writer feels strongly about a social or political issue and is able to use fiction to highlight this, good for him/her. As long as it is entertaining and engaging, I see no reason to complain. Writers like Charles Dickens, Ayn Rand, George Orwell and almost all the Russian Masters have done this very effectively.
However, when the author turns preachy and starts ranting, it dilutes the impact of the story being told. Literature can be an instrument of change or simply a mirror to existing reality. But in either case, it must be primarily about telling a story and telling it well.