RQ – How has the evolution of the human species affected our ability to read literature ?
Humans are a descendent of the primate species and are separated by our ability to have cognitive thought and our ability to reason. Reading and writing literature is a common interest of many of our lives. How that literature is perceived and remembered in today’s society is not necessarily the same as how the same literature was viewed a hundred years ago. Humans have instinct behaviors that still are evident when reading a literature selection.
Habituation is an example of a instinctive example that humans are commonly found using on a regular basis in today’s society. In its roots habituation is used to ignore a stimuli so the animal can be more productive. However, today we ignore stimuli consistently with the prevalence of technology in our lives. We are forced to ignore cell phone calls or texts, emails, and other messages because of how busy our lives can be. When reading many people read for the important points and ignore many of the intricate details that lie in the literature being read.
Our emotions are another example of a trait that may have evolved over time and affect our ability to interpret literature selections that we may read. Emotions vary from individual to individual based on their life experiences, education, and other situations they have had. However, the ability to have innate emotions has allowed us to survive and reproduce. If we did not quickly react in many instances we would not survive. For example if a predator was coming after us, and we just stood there and had no fear or instinct to run, then we would be eaten alive. When reading literature those instincts of emotion often are drawn out of humans when reading about a character that is in a situation that would naturally cause these emotions to come into play.
There are also memories that come into play for most humans when reading literature. Most people relate to their own life experiences when they read a novel. If they themselves have been in love or turmoil, and the character they are reading about has, then they are able to directly relate to that character and the emotions the writer is trying to portray through the character’s actions and story. Humans have evolved from the primate species, that is obvious, but what parts of how we evolved allow us to look at literature differently is what would compile an interesting research topic. Is it only instinctive properties of our evolution or other aspects as well.