Literatures are written about the author's experiences and/or the perception of the author about a certain matter

in his life or the world. These may be truthful to the author for he or she can relate to such literature, but for other people this is not the matter. People around the world need hard facts and evidence in order to believe that something is in fact the truth. "Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the finding into a unity" argues a British writer and critic, Rebecca West. Using this definition of the expression "literature" it could be concluded that literature must be something that inspired the author or the author himself has experienced. According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English, literature is considered to be "written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit." This also concludes that in order for a piece of work to be considered "literature" it must be artistically advanced and of lasting quality and value to society. For example, the generations of today still thoroughly study the works of Alexander Solzhenitsyn although such literature was written in the 1940's it is still very popular and influential today. A marvelous piece of literature not only inspires a soul, but also opens the door into the truth behind the author's words. It is safe to say that the author "talks" his experience to the reader through his literature and inspires the reader in a way that only that reader can understand it. He provides the reader with a vivid reflection of his thoughts and experiences which you can follow. "The Outsider" written by Albert Camus is a piece of literature depicting a young man who is completely indifferent about the world around him and does not manage to fit into the small yet strong reinforced walls of society because of his own perception of life. This character, Meursault, is an existentialist who is trying to find the meaning of life by isolating himself from society to further more understand the world. Even though many people may not realize it, the world in which we live in is up to the top filled with characters such as Meursault. Everyday, people try to find a deeper meaning to their lives and try to find out why they exist, and is there even a reason to get out bed every morning just to repeat the things that you have done the day before. They do this (find the meaning of life) by completely dedicating their lives to their religion, to their gods and simply to their beliefs, and hope that they have chosen the correct path that will lead them to the truth. People use the knowledge that they have acquired from people, books and the world around them to try to find the true meaning of life in this world. The way that literature fits into this is that it was the main source for this line of thinking to emerge in the individual. For instance after reading The Outsider I myself started thinking and pondering on the question of why are we here. Literature can pass on ways of thinking and sometimes enforce a certain line of thoughts upon us. William Shakespeare's, "Macbeth" is the perfect portrayal of human greed and strive for power. Macbeth, the protagonist of the play, is willing to go above and beyond to achieve absolute power and recognition. The generations of today are even more power hungry, and there are daily disputes over wealth and money. William Shakespeare's, "Macbeth" is still relevant to our society since nothing has really changed, we still value money as the number one thing, and the amount of authority you have is still very influential, this proves that literature can tell the truth, and pass it on better than some other areas of knowledge such as TV which is most of the time at best the third persons

point of view where as a book is written from the first or second point of view. Alexander Solzhenitsyn's, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" describes the hardships of an innocent man's life in a prison camp. This novel illustrates the universal truth about the nature of man. According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the truth about all humanity is that everybody strives for survival, dignity, individualism, comfort, and friendship. Although there are some obvious exceptions to such a statement, it is very accurate up to this day. Literature is also one of the best and most efficient ways to spread propaganda through out the world. During the 1800's, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a book, Uncle Tom's Cabin that was used to condemn slavery in America. Today, Uncle Tom's Cabin is viewed as propaganda. Propaganda and literature have been close friends for quite a long time and have had many short and long term affairs in the past. Many people use propaganda in literature to enforce ways of thought onto the public. In the Soviet Union the leaders of the country such as Lenin and Stalin have used books in the schools which were written by authors upon their request to promote communism throughout the country. Literature however has some major flaws, which are the bias that is present in the works of all authors. Bias is inevitable since usually the writer is expressing his thoughts or his past experiences. In many cases writers try to cover their bias up because the book may be too controversial to publish or at times done for the purposes of self preservation, since if the author of the book would be critiquing someone's laws, beliefs or ways of life. However they write this in a way that the reader would have to "read between the lines" and find out the real purpose of the book. Some of the greatest written works of art were published hundreds of years ago, and these still affect the communities of today. The history of the world enriches literatures in a way that the generations of today are able to view the world as it existed years ago. Furthermore, the authors of previous generations are able to interpret the way of life and the mistakes of that generation into their literature so the people of today can still learn from such works. Since "history repeats itself" literature can be viewed as a time machine not only into the past but the future as well. On a smaller scale this could be shown in the stock market where previously written work is used to predict the next years price of a certain stock. There are hundreds of different cultures all around the world, each with different perceptions, diverse viewpoints, and various ideas about human kind and the way the world works. Such perceptions are important to people all around the world in order to understand various cultures and people. Literature can put us into a different world and let us live the life as someone else thus enriching our mind and giving us a new point with that of which we can look at life. You can picture literature as the platforms on which you can stand on and view the earth form different points, and the more platforms you have the better view of the world you can obtain. People of certain religions or organizations may view some literatures as being threatening and going against what they believe in, despite the fact that that piece of

work has five out of five stars and has won the hearts of millions of people. But that fact could not be changes in anyway since we as humans have the right to a freedom of speech, and what you may find threatening may have a diverse meaning in a different culture. There are of course exceptions to this case when the author may publish his book solely for the purpose of offending a different race or clan in which case it would be simply inappropriate. If a literature, for example, states that everybody experiences miracles in one point or another of their life, that would not be true to someone who a) does not believe in miracles and b) someone who isn't superstitious. In order for the reader to believe that this is in fact the truth, he or she needs strong evidence that could be obtained from Arts. Literature can tell the truth and provide us with valid information but a good reader should be able to filter the real from the not, and to try to separate the bias from the truth.

Whether or not literature can tell the truth better than other arts or areas of knowledge requires an examination of the notion of truth in relation to the literary approach or other art forms and the ways in which other areas of knowledge acquire knowledge. A most central question to address with regards to the title concerns evolves around the means through which knowledge claims are made in the various disciplines and the definition of truth. "Truth" is defined as the "quality or state of being true", "that which is true". But what is "true"? "True" is what is real, precise, correct, exact and "in accordance with the fact, reason or received standards". Since in every area of knowledge, there are knowledge claims, which are in agreement with the accepted standards, "truth can be told" up to a certain point. To begin with, in the arts -which is the expressing of emotions, the imitation of nature and the world, the teaching of what is right or the offering of insights into the human condition- the knowledge gained is ambiguous. That is because perception and feelings are mainly involved in the acquisition of knowledge and play a fundamental role in the appreciation or creation of an artwork and hence truth. Both the artists during performances or painting and spectators, who watch a play or observe a painting, emotions are involved. For example, when I had participated in my school play, the role of a miserable beggar I should deeply feel unhappy, to express this feeling to the audience. As Tolstoy mentioned: "Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of the

feeling the artist has experienced." A common belief is that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", that is every observer of a particular painting can have the chance to observe it from a different point of view and retain different details than another one. Thus, truth is partially reached, personalized and subjective. In literature, in particular, "truth" is the result of an integration of folk proverbs, beliefs and idioms in the narration, making it realistic. The phrase: "Panagiota looking through the women's dresses had been listening about omnipotent herbal potion and stopped laughing. Her heart was beating fast and sweat was pouring down her body and she was feeling acute and hot prickles on her cheeks and her nose" depicts a condition of the19th century in a Greek rural society; that women believed in the power of love potions. Although this was true, the way it is presented and the fact that idiomatic, literary and medical language coexist gives a scientific style to the text , distorting the true message that the author tries to convey. Another technique used to present reality in literature, is the double point of view in the narration where the characters have a false belief about reality, but the narrator, as an outsider, has a more objective perspective about truth. In the naturalistic book "Beggar", Tsiritokostas seems to the village inhabitants "a small, unimportant, old man, crooked and very lean, his chest has withdrawn, he had a hunch in his back, his knees were swollen but weak and trembling". On the other hand, the narrator shows to the readers his true appearance: "under the shaggy rags, there were his arms of iron and his muscles of steel, his back that was strongly built and his back neck of an ox and bull's power". Therefore, via the presentation of the difference between the "being" and the "looking", the "being" and therefore truth is highlighted by the narrator. Another technique is the double perspective of the same narrator. This is noticed in the book "Eroica", where the narrator tells the story from both his immature teenage point of view and his mature perspective as an adult. This results in the demystification of the thought-to-be epic and heroic childhood of the young narrator and depiction of truth. although "Eroica" is a "Bildungsroman", seems to be grave and thus unrealistic. That is because kids are chosen to philosophize: "What is heroism? Keep the decision that you have taken by yourself, until the end no matter what occurs. And if something should go wrong, have no regrets." However, it is known that generally kids do not philosophize. Hence, childhood reality is not "truly" depicted. Moreover, the fact that there are many symbols makes the book enigmatic, as it is barely understood that the children's tinny helmets represent their fake heroism and the red cat the temptation of love. Thus, such symbols create uncertainties and possibly lead to a partial loss of literary truth. Symbols, in general distort truth as nobody can "see" the exact truth –if it exists- behind them as there are many perspectives concerning the interpretation of emotions, language, symbols and literary features in a book or poem. For example, how do we know that the poet of "White and Black", by writing "I was looking frequently from Makroniso the fights between seagulls and ravens for food" did not just want to describe the birds' fights for food, but he signified the conflict between the right and the left

political party in Greece at that time? Isn't it diminishing when we give definite explanations that even the artists have never imagined? As it is known that many poets appreciate their poems' analysis, though they have never thought the meanings mentioned during lessons. Through the above example, it is noticed that literature can have a historical and political character. Often, the committed artists narrate political and historical events indirectly with non-existing stories through the creation of heroes participating in these. In contrast, historians describe the truth directly through an exact depiction of what happened. They try to determine the causes and effects of the events and find evidence for what really happened through extensive research for sources and witnesses, as well as, through excavations. Then, they combine this knowledge to write history books in the most objective way -if there is such thing. However, usually historians are selective. As Brecht wrote: "Who constructed Thebes with Seven Gates? In the books you see only the kings' names. Have the kings carried big stones? Every page a victory. Who cooked the festal meals? What a huge number of stories. What a large number of queries." Thereby neither in history truth can be fully reached. "Like the rest of people, scientists aim at objective truth about the world and sometimes achieve it. For example, water really is made of hydrogen and oxygen and liver really secretes bile." Thus, in the natural sciences truth about reality can be reached though it is gained through different Ways of Knowing, which seem to be more reliable than those involved in literature. In the natural sciences, knowledge is gained and truth is reached mostly through reasoning, perspective, language and a specific pathway of knowledge. This consists of several steps; observation, selecting of data, drawing of tentative conclusion, application of "Scientific Theory" –it may involve experimentation, repetition of experiments-, verification or falsification in terms of experimental results and formation of a scientific theory. These constitute the basic scientific method, through which knowledge about true in Natural Sciences is gained. Although the method seems to be very reliable, so knowledge about truth is too, there are some limitations. For example, while observing and selecting data, human perception and filters are used, which are not reliable due to our biological constitution that differs greatly from other organisms. For example, we cannot see only black, grey and white like dogs or we cannot hear like bats, thus how do we know that what we see is true and that we do not construct reality? Actually, we don't, but technology can help us. There is already a toy, a sort of "binoculars", with which somebody can see like bees. However, tools and apparatuses have uncertainties. When in Biochemical sciences volumetric cylinder is used except its uncertainty, people using it are not sure if when take the volume measurement of water, they see the level of water from the right angle, which is when the eye is lined up with the water surface. Furthermore, during and after the completion of experiments, for conclusions to be formed inductive, rather than deductive reasoning way, is used. This is more problematic and probabilistic than the second one. Therefore, it is not certain that we gain true knowledge. However, comparing to other Areas of Knowledge and especially with Arts and most

specifically literature, knowledge in the Natural Sciences is the most accurate, reassuring, objective and specific and hence truth can be "told" with greater certainty and reliability (or better with less uncertainty, as certainty can never exist since knowledge is a creation of the restricted human mind, logic and thinking). Of course, truth can be reached in literature in the feelings felt while we are reading a literature piece. Whether we can reach truth depends on the writer's ability to express with words, features and techniques abstract notions or emotions and on the readers' ability to sense this emotion and whether or not they had felt similarly before in their life. Although the kind of knowledge about truth we gain differs from the scientific one, which is considered the most reliable, as the Ways of Knowing seem more reliable. Nevertheless, it must be highlighted that generally, there is no absolute and objective truth, even in the natural sciences and hence we cannot tell the truth either in Arts or History; in either Literature or Science with certainty, though all Areas of Knowledge "reveal" different truths.