In my opinion, literature cannot be confined to a single definition. A piece of writing should not be evaluated on the basis of meeting certain “requirements” associated with the norms of most conventional literary works. Therefore, I believe that the short story, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box,” written by Sir Author Conan Doyle fulfills my expectations about literature.
The definition of literature is a subjective perception, causing its interpretation to be inevitably transformed overtime. Thinking back to my years at high school, I remember studying pieces such as 1984, The Lord of the Flies, and Of Mice and Men. These novels consisted of dense sentences that would need to be overlooked at least three times and a myriad of hidden meanings associated with a single colour or object. If I were asked to classify The Adventure of the Cardboard Box at the time I was studying one of the listed novels, I would have most likely disagreed that the work should be considered as literature. Looking back, I do not think that any of my English teachers had ever defined what makes a written piece a literary work. I feel as if the definition of literature was progressively ingrained in my mind as a dull, slow piece of writing with an overload of unnecessary metaphors; therefore, I would have never imagined that an exhilarating, action-packed murder-mystery novel could ever be deemed as literature.
When reading the prompt, I was given the opportunity to reflect the definition of literature as a college student. I was surprised by my contrasting opinion and open-minded reflection as I was able to characterize this Sherlock Holmes story as a literary work. Although, upon a cursory examination, the short story may seem to possess completely different qualities from other well-known literary pieces, it shares a major ability to allow readers to appreciate the beauty of language. This short story is not based on heavy topics such as politics or religion. This short story does not incorporate a never-ending list of complex vocabulary terms. This short story is not written figuratively and does not have an extensive bank of literary devices. However, this short story engages readers to appreciate and reflect on language and its intricacy, which I hope to believe is the aspiration of all writers.