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Is Literature A More Reliable Way Of Finding Truth Than Other Arts?

1655 words - 7 pages

“You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral; some Negro men are not to be trusted around women – black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire"(Shmoop). This quote is from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In this literary piece, the search for truth in a judicial setting is the main focus. There are pieces of evidence, moral, and ethical aspects that are revealed in the book. They were used in the search ...view middle of the document...

Art is the expression of one’s self. Some believe that art is self defined and that there is no universal definition. Others believe that the definition of what art is, is based on the way art is expressed, the reaction of its audience and if it has purpose. Art can be in several different forms; poetry, music, literature, theater, painting, etc. Art is the greatest form of escape and a way to reach the highest sense of absolute truth. Art can be an abstract representation of an event. Schopenhauer believed that art was almost a metaphysic experience that allowed a person to be outside of their self. According to Schopenhauer’s belief, art is the way to self truth. However, art can be represented in photography which does not necessarily show inner self. Photographs capture a moment in time. This being the idea of photographs a person could conclude that photographs are more reliable than literature in telling the truth. For example, just the other day I was looking through a magazine. There was an article that talked about the Iraq war. There was a photograph of American soldiers with Iraqi children. This photograph is after all a captured moment but doesn’t tell ultimate truth. Photographs along with literature can be deceiving to the truth. As mentioned earlier, art is a lie that tells the truth. Art can be biased and so can literature. Art shows a one sided perspective, a personal perspective. A great work of literature is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Catch 22 shows a bias against war from the perspective of a soldier. It tells the truth from one persons view and outlook of war. Along with bias effects on the truth from literature and art, there are also effects brought by variations. For every piece of any type of art there are variations in personal tastes and cultural differences. With all of the variations and differences in art it is ultimately impossible to be completely sure of the truth through literature or art in general. There are other ways to find the truth that are more reliable and more secure.
“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are” (wisdom quotes). This is a quote from Talmud; a form of Jewish oral tradition. Everything is an expression of one’s self and how we see the world around us. This is what is believed by most to be the definition of art. Art is expression through music, dancing, theater, poetry, and literature as stated previously. However, along with the differences mentioned earlier about culture, bias, and personal tastes, there are also issues that can occur with art such as blindness or dyslexia. If a person is blind they will not be able to see the art and if a person is dyslexic they cannot read the literature. Their expression in art is ultimately different than someone else’s. This means that the truth through the art is different than the truth in expression of another’s art work. One way of looking at this is that the ultimate truth can then be controversial if everyone has a different...

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