Since its birth, literature has always dealt with many thought-provoking topics. Whether it be the theme of love, death or war – writing has had the purpose to answer mundane questions in a creative and elaborate manner. It is, therefore, no surprise that many different genres of literature can be found in modern civilization. Due to growing interests contemporary society has acquired, all types of novels are expanded. Family novels, romance novels, detective stories, satires even gothic novels are all ever-changing and developing introducing new elements to their already established form.
What is interesting is that one of the most recurring topics in literature is death and murder. Given the fact that death existed long before civilization it is no wonder that we keep revisiting this topic many times in order to understand it better. What is more, we are very interested in the topic of violent or sudden death. Our interest in this issue can be traced back even to Ancient literature. Works like The Illiad or The Odyssey, Senecan tragedies all deal with death and murder very openly. What is more, this theme can be found in classic works written by Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, or Dostoyevsky, as well as in most contemporary fiction of the 21st century. So, for us literature has to possess this provocative quality, a certain shock value to it in order to keep us tuned.
Murder novels are always popular
There was even a time when novels were published in sections on a weekly or monthly level. A large piece of work was therefore published partially and had the effect of rousing interest in the audience. One writer published in this manner was Charles Dickens since this was popular in his time. This just goes to show that we as readership need to be captivated in order to keep reading.
Mankind has been interested in the theme of murder as long as literature has existed. We will find new creative ways to deal with these otherwise gruesome issues, just to set the record straight. We will come to know them in a new manner and with a new perspective.
Reading about murder helps us understand our own psychology as well as the psychology of our fellow men. Our fear of death is thus reshaped into a question of how death comes to be and why is it a crucial part of life. Whether evil is innate or made is also a prominent question. Are we on the side of evil or against it?
As humans we tend to use our minds as compasses, more often than not. This means we will love to keep our minds working. This is how literature was born. Its sole purpose is to broaden our horizon and keep us interested. This can most easily be done if book or story gives us a task. For example, find the murderer, close this case or solve this mystery – are just some of the tasks our mind loves to come by. This is why mystery novels survived so many revisions and innovations while retaining its key elements: posing questions and getting answers.