Types of Didactic Literature
Maxim: a statement of a general truth about human behavior, perhaps offering some practical advice as well. They vary in length from one or two sentences to a paragraph. They are writers’ attempts to put a spotlight on the right way to live.
Parable: also a brief story, its teaching is more pointed. Each part of the story correlates to a lesson to be learned. Each plot detail is intended to illustrate an aspect of some moral truth.
Paradox: a paradox is not always didactic literature but it is often used in it. Paradoxes are statements that seem contradictory but are actually true. The use of paradox forces the reader to interpret the meaning of the passages.
Example: If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.
Your assignment is to write your own didactic literature. You will write 2 maxims or 1 parable or 2 paradoxes. In addition to writing them you will display them creatively. You have a variety of options on how you display them. Here are some. Can you think of others?
- Bumper sticker
- Fortune cookie
- Public Service Announcement
Note: only one of your writings need to be presented creatively. The other will be written and decorated on a regular 8 x 11 sheet of paper.