Uncategorized | March 14, 2004

After reading Alice Walker’s The Color Purple recently, I thought I’d pose the question, what criteria qualify a work as literature of recognized great value? Should it be considered a great work universally, such as The Odyssey or The Iliad? Must it stand the test of time? Should the work present compelling themes or make powerful social commentary? The Color Purple addresses issues of politics, gender and sexuality and the role of African Americans, for example. The writing style, however, is quite different from work that is often considered great literature. Should the work adhere to certain language guidelines to merit this judgment? Or, does the fact that it strays from these guidelines while at the same time meeting other traditional standards make it all the more appealing?