So why do we teach literature? I think we can hear the answer in the voice of Huck Finn
and Ishmael and David Copperﬁeld and Holden Caulﬁeld. It’s the wonderful sound of those words, the gorgeous
flow of those well-crafted sentences, and the marvelous way Twain and Dickens and Melville and Shakespeare
and Salinger chose just the right words. And for some odd reason, we want our students to see the aesthetic beauty
in those words and sentences.
That’s one of the major reasons that we teach literature.
I’d venture to say that most of us English teachers
fell in love with the art of literature well before we considered the themes, the characterizations,
or the plots. But somewhere along the line, many of us put those aesthetics on the back burner in favor of the more "teachable"
aspects of a literary work. And frankly, discussing the beauty of language with reluctant adolescents isn’t always easy.
But it can be done and it’s really worth the effort .
From " Why we teach Literature" written by Michael LoMónico