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The what-is questions are the hardest, and you learn that the first moment you start searching for the answer to the question “What is the definition of literature?”.

However, it’s time for you to sigh with relief – in a matter of several minutes, you’ll learn a couple of important things about literature and its definition!

Literature Definition: Learn the Peculiarities of the Phenomenon

Here comes the answer to the most important question of all – “What is literature?”:

Definition for literature

Literature is any written work with a grain of artistic element in it.

All in all, whenever you read something that makes you think, you can call it literature. However, keep in mind that English literature is quite different from the rest. So if someone asks you “What is English literature?”, you’ll need to remember the following:

English literature

English literature embraces the works written by British authors.

As a matter of fact, there are several ways to detect English literature. Check these typical features of the English literature:

  • traditionalism;
  • subtle irony;
  • careful choice of expressive means.

Once you keep in mind this trivia about English literature, you’ll make it to the top!

Literature Definition and Its Primary Components: About the Tone

Literature is a lens through which you view the reality.

You may stay unaware of the tiniest peculiarities of literature elements, but you have to know the tone definition in literature, so remember this part well:

Tone definition (literature)

Tone is the manner in which the author conveys his ideas to the reader.

Just like people can be ironic, serious or light-minded, so can the tone be.

Literature Definition and Other Important Trivia: Theme and Plot

Literature is a quest through which you go along with the characters.

The definition of theme in literature is extremely simple.

Theme definition (literature)

Theme is the key issue on which the piece is written.

And now, it’s time to learn something about the plot:

Plot in literature (definition)

Plot is the course of the events which take place in the piece.

Literature Definition and Implied Meaning: Symbolism and Images.

Literature is a bunch of riddles for you to solve.

Literature is packed with things that have secret meaning. So check these two elements:

Symbol in literature (definition)

Symbol is the object which has two meanins, the direct and the implied one. For instance, a rose can be a flower (direct meaning) and at the same time the symbol of England (implied meaning)

Symbolism in literature (definition)

Symbolism is the art of using symbols in literature.

Symbolism definition in literature is pretty easy to remember:

Imagery in literature (definition)

Imagery encompasses all the visual elements in the piece.

Literature Definition and Something Important about Characters.

Literature is the stories of real people trapped in literary characters.

There is always a character in literature – look close enough, and you’ll find it.

Character definition (literature)

A character is the focus of the piece, the doer in a literature work.

Literature Definition and Essential Remarks on Mood and Irony.

What is the definition of literature
Literature is a way to see the fun side of things.

The last, but definitely not the least, such components of literature as mood and irony, must be mentioned:

Mood definition (literature)

Mood is the atmosphere in the story.

For instance, a Gothic story has a rather gloomy mood, while a Romanticism story has a mood of mystery.

Irony (literature definition)

Irony is a literature technique which allows to exaggerate or twist certain features to make them more obvious.

Literature Definition and the Final Recommendations for Success.

Literature is a way of depicting the reality.

That’s why, check these tips:

  • Figure out the idea behind the story;
  • Consider the background of story creation;
  • Define the character which the writer relates him-/herslef to.

Well, now that you know the definition literature and its elements have, you’re fully equipped to deal with the toughest literature analyses. Good luck!




I was born in Preston, West Virginia. Shortly afterwards, my family moved to Flushing, New York, and that’s where I grew up. Though I have spent most of my life in NYC, people tell me that I am a mix of Southern and Northern culture, and I believe they’re right. I pr...


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