In the contemporary world, changes occur rapidly and the modern society is getting to be more and more different from the society of the past. One of the most significant changes occur due to the development of business that affects all spheres of life and make individuals practically totally dependent on their job and career. In fact, often people practically become ‘slaves’ of their workplaces and their professional life interfere into their personal life to the extent that in perspective the border between them may completely disappear. In such a situation it is particularly dangerous that the main principles of business would dominate over entire life of human beings it threatens to dehumanization and, what is more, inability of people to act independently as normal, civil human beings with their rights and only responsibilities will remain. Obviously, it is a great threat for the future development of the nation and only literature can really help due to its humanist principles, which being conveyed to large audience through integration in business could help the latter to cope with the problem of great social change threatening to the national security.
First of all, it should be said that literature has always played an important role in the life of society. In fact, literature reflected the changes within the society and attempted to show the way the society should develop or at least literature warned against the potential threats hidden in social changes. In this respect, it is very important to trace the evolution of views of writers on business and social changes.
It is obvious that the current situation is absolutely different from what was in the past and this may be easily traced in literature. Nowadays, literature vividly depicts the social changes that affect dramatically the life of all people. It is not a secret that the modern society is significantly influenced by business and literature warns against such an impact because it may be extremely negative and dangerous. For instance, C Allen May Jr in his poem “Layoff” underlines that nowadays individuals are totally dependent on their work and it is the company that actually decide the fate of individuals: “I was told by my company I was no longer needed” (2002) and this was told in the manner “soft, measured, and gentle” (2002) that reveal the hypocrisy of the modern business. As a result, human beings and their life turn to be worth nothing and resemble “tissues offered for tears” that can be easily torn apart.
Unfortunately, people have little opportunities to oppose to the existing system and, consequently, they can hardly resist to the dramatic change of their position in their workplace as well as in their life in general. As Richard Robbins emphasize, business is inevitably getting to be dominant in human life (1999). This is why it is quite naturally that its basic principles get start to dominate in the human society and such a shift is extremely dangerous since, as literature reveals, business is characterized by dehumanization and lack of morality. In fact, the only valuable thing in business is profit and, unfortunately, it becomes the main goal of the entire human life and there are little alternatives because of the process of economic globalization (Robbins 1999).
In fact, George Orwell warned against dehumanization as one of the greatest threats of capitalism in his work “Shooting an Elephant” (1994) where he reveals the main principles of capitalism and imperialism he faced in person. Actually, the writer warns against the possibility of total degradation because of the dominance of primitive instincts typical for capitalism, i.e. business. He emphasizes that business may be destructive since it turns people in tyrants that often is an essential condition of professional growth and successful career. At the same time, when the “man turns tyrant it is his own freedom he destroys” (1994).
Such a situation and negative impact of business and its principles on human life may be significantly enforced because of the growing role of media which actually promote the new lifestyle and force people to accept the ideology of mass consumption, focusing on their professional life aiming at gaining possibly higher profits regardless any moral and spiritual values (Chomsky 1997). Obviously, it is extremely dangerous because it turns individuals in robots that cannot really act independently (Chomsky 1997).
However, the situation can still be changed for better, naturally, on the condition that business and its principles would be changed and literature seems to be quite an efficient tool to change entire life of people. Obviously, independently literature is currently unable to impact significantly human society because of the domination of mass media which actually represent another business. Consequently, the only solution of the problem may be found in integration of literature and its principles in business since literature stimulates creativity, morality, provides readers with high spiritual values. In this respect, it is worthy to refer to “The Catbird Seat” by James Thurber (2002), a short story, which may become the most effective genre due to its comprehensibility and size. In this work the author depicts the turbulent situation in the workplace the main character Mr. Robin faced. However, he did not give in, he did not become a slave of a company facing a threat of restructuring of his department. In stark contrast he struggles and uses methods one can hardly find in any business guideline. The author obviously hints at the imaginative power each writer possess and indicates at the great possibility of creativity to solve the most serious problems. The eventual success of Mr. Robin in his struggle indicates at the perspective of this way of implementation of elements and principles of literature in business. In this respect, his intentionally polished to perfection image, being to a significant extent exaggerated, serves as a symbol of positive impact of literature skills, abilities and principles on the individual.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that the current situation cannot remain unchanged. Otherwise, it threats dehumanization and total degradation of the whole nation and even world community in global terms. In such a situation, literature can be really helpful if it is widely used to critically evaluate the social changes the modern society and business are currently facing. As a result, if the message of different writers is successfully conveyed to readers due to the cooperation with business, the potential dangers of social changes will be minimized.
Chomsky, Naom. “What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream”, Z Magazine, June, 1997.
May, Allen C., Jr. “Layoff” in Selected Poems. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Orwell, G. “Shooting an Elephant” in Selected Writings. London: Routledge, 1994.
Robbins, Richard. Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Allyn and Bacon, 1999.
Thurber, J. “The Catbird Seat” in Selected Works. New York: New Publishers, 2002.
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