The field of literature offers a great multitude of interesting essay and research paper topics. In its broadest sense literature is any written work; the term “literature” derives from Latin “literatura,” which means “writing formed with letters”, although some definitions include spoken or sung texts. More restrictively, literature is writing that possesses literary merit, and language that foregrounds literariness, as opposed to ordinary language. Literature can be classified according to whether it is fiction or non-fiction and whether it is poetry or prose; it can be further distinguished according to major forms such as the novel, short story or drama; and works are often categorised according to historical periods or their adherence to certain aesthetic features or expectations (genre).

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American Literature Topics

  1. Isaac Asimov
  2. Ambrose Bierce
  3. Ray Bradbury
  4. Dan Brown
  5. Edgar Rice Burroughs
  6. Raymond Carver
  7. Tom Clancy
  8. James Fenimore Cooper
  9. Philip K. Dick
  10. Frederick Douglass
  11. Theodore Dreiser
  12. W. E. B. Du Bois
  13. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. William Faulkner
  15. F. Scott Fitzgerald
  16. Robert Frost
  17. John Grisham
  18. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  19. Robert Heinlein
  20. Ernest Hemingway
  21. Langston Hughes
  22. Zora Neale Hurston
  23. Stephen King
  24. Ursula K. Le Guin
  25. Herman Melville
  26. Arthur Miller
  27. Margaret Mitchell
  28. Toni Morrison
  29. Edgar Allan Poe
  30. Ayn Rand
  31. J. D. Salinger
  32. Mark Twain
  33. Tennessee Williams

British Literature Topics

  1. A. A. Milne
  2. George Bernard Shaw
  3. Jonathan Swift
  4. Agatha Christie
  5. George Eliot
  6. Lord Byron
  7. Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. George Orwell
  9. Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. C.S. Lewis
  11. Graham Greene
  12. Rudyard Kipling
  13. Douglas Adams
  14. H. G. Wells
  15. Virginia Woolf
  16. Dylan Thomas
  17. Ian Fleming
  18. W. H. Auden
  19. Emily Bronte
  20. J. K. Rowling
  21. William Blake
  22. G. K. Chesterton
  23. John Donne
  24. William Golding
  25. Geoffrey Chaucer
  26. John Keats
  27. William Shakespeare

English Literature Topics

  1. Aldous Huxley
  2. Doris Lessing
  3. Matthew Arnold
  4. Angela Carter
  5. Harold Pinter
  6. P. G. Wodehouse
  7. Anthony Burgess
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Roald Dahl
  10. Charles Dickens
  11. James Herriot
  12. Salman Rushdie
  13. Charlotte Bronte
  14. Jane Austen
  15. Ted Hughes
  16. Christopher Isherwood
  17. John Bunyan
  18. Terry Pratchett
  19. Christopher Marlowe
  20. John Milton
  21. Thomas Hardy
  22. D. H. Lawrence
  23. Ken Follett
  24. Tom Stoppard
  25. Daphne du Maurier
  26. Lewis Carroll
  27. William Wordsworth

French Literature Topics

  1. Alexandre Dumas
  2. George Sand
  3. Jules Verne
  4. Anais Nin
  5. Gustave Flaubert
  6. Marcel Proust
  7. Anatole France
  8. Guy de Maupassant
  9. Moliere
  10. Arthur Rimbaud
  11. Honore de Balzac
  12. Simone de Beauvoir
  13. Charles Baudelaire
  14. Jean Cocteau
  15. Victor Hugo
  16. Emile Zola
  17. Jean-Paul Sartre
  18. Voltaire

Japanese Literature Topics

  1. Haruki Murakami
  2. Kobayashi Issa
  3. Shusaku Endo
  4. Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. Kobo Abe
  6. Yasunari Kawabata
  7. Kenzaburo Oe
  8. Matsuo Basho
  9. Yukio Mishima

Russian Literature Topics

  1. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  2. Fyodor Dostoevsky
  3. Mikhail Sholokhov
  4. Alexander Pushkin
  5. Ivan Turgenev
  6. Nikolai Gogol
  7. Anna Akhmatova
  8. Joseph Brodsky
  9. Osip Mandelstam
  10. Anton Chekhov
  11. Leo Tolstoy
  12. Vladimir Mayakovsky
  13. Bella Akhmadulina
  14. Marina Tsvetaeva
  15. Vladimir Nabokov
  16. Boris Pasternak
  17. Maxim Gorky
  18. Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Spanish Literature Topics

  1. Arturo Perez-Reverte
  2. Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
  3. Miguel de Cervantes
  4. Camilo Jose Cela
  5. Jacinto Benavente
  6. Miguel de Unamuno
  7. Federico Garcia Lorca
  8. Juan Ramon Jimenez
  9. Rosalia de Castro

Some of the earliest forms of literature are the myths that have been passed down through history. Myths directly represent the culture and time period from which they were born. Ideological meanings can be assigned to history through the myths that evolved from a particular society. Present day politics has its roots in the mythology that was passed down through Greek and Roman culture. The myth is the primary language of historical memory. The demonstration of the influence mythology has had on times gone by and the present is a perfect example of the powerful affect that fictitious words can have on a group of people.

Authors very often write about how they believe society should be, or will be in the future. After reading about these idea and thought, society may subconsciously try to turn them into reality. The novel 1984, by George Orwell, written earlier in the 20th century, and talks about how society will be in the year 1984. To his audience he was thought to be crazy. The technology and way of life he spoke about was absolutely unbelievable, and only few people believed that anything he spoke about was possible. But, as it turns out, society in the year 1984 wasn’t too different from what he predicted.

Many novels have been controversial in society as well, some to the point of being banned from bookstores and libraries. Very often, authors write about there own lives through a character in their novel. By using such a method of writing, the author is writing about how society really is, from his her point of view. This can sometimes cause problems, as with The Catcher in the Rye, which was banned for an extended period of time, because society couldn’t handle being criticized in such a way. However, it was in fact reality, and it only took time for society to realize this, and put the book back on the shelf.

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