How my relationship with literature evolved through listening to the stories by my grandmother!

Grandmother | Love | 7th July 2021 | Virtual Wire

For the longest time, I wondered whether the engrossing tales about fairies and giants were real. Our great grandparents would often use these stories to make our life exciting while instilling morals of life in us.

Grandparents had wisdom passed down by generations who used stories as a method to pass it on to the next one. It also aided in stimulating the mental capacity of the child. Passing a message back in the days was done in many ways, and narrating or reading stories was one of them. These stories help kids deal with a plethora of unspoken fears and desires, from sibling rivalry to ambivalence toward their parents.

I was a troublesome kid when I was very young, around 5 or 6 years old. Even sleep did not come to me without me causing trouble to my parents and being reprimanded for the same. Because of this, they sent me away to my grandmother. My grandmother played a significant role when it came to inculcating an interest in stories in me.

My interest in stories and reading is a result of that. She used to read stories to calm me down. Most of her stories were about heroes, people with special powers and fairies, who encountered challenging situations, overcame them and lived happily ever after. I would sit enthralled, and wide-eyed listening to those stories. Stories created enthusiasm in me for reading texts.

The stories that were read to me as a child and those that I read throughout my life, taught me how to embrace the ups and downs of life. I recall the different stories that were read to me and the ones I read throughout my life, and I realize that they addressed various aspects that affect human life and how to develop means to overcome them. I interacted with literature through reading when I was very young.

After I grew up and my understanding of literature developed, I started exploring various genres. Throughout my interaction with literature, I gained knowledge on how to interpret the morals related to the literary work. As a kid, the stories I read were my solace, essentially escapists. However, when I read the same books decades later, I realized that these stories were about their undying human strength and ways of existing in the world.

As time went by and I grew up, my experience with literature became more interesting as the media was introduced. I learned various literary devices and understood the interpretation of the stories I was told as a child. I learned to appreciate the power of words. I understood that the seemingly simple children’s stories like Cinderella or Pinocchio, had a hidden meaning and that the real magic was within us.

Over time, I realized that literature's main aim is to teach people the importance of relationships and life. It teaches us about the complexities of human nature through multiple perspectives. It helps us to develop our own opinions and a sense of individuality.

Literature develops in us enduring values, such as honesty, kindness, devotion, and obligation. For example, in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the main character chooses to sacrifice his own life rather than betray his friends and neighbours.

As I conclude, most of my grandmother's stories taught me was full of morality and obeying the elderly. Her stories helped me in learning the most basic morals and getting a correct perspective of life.

Her stories cultivated empathy and creativity in me. The stories I read taught me about commitment, hard work, love, and relationships. Stories like George Orwell’s Animal Farm taught me about the ambiguous nature of life and to be prepared for all situations. Various autobiographies that I read taught me how to connect a local to a global issue.

All these understandings were possible because years ago, my grandmother recited stories to me and introduced me to the world of literature, for which I will forever be indebted to her.

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