Do you know the basic difference between genres of literature?


We all are familiar with the word literature (broadly). Every now and then we come across a number of books and stories, no matter if you’re an avid reader or an occasional one.
You may have read a number of books, but have you ever thought how Harry Potter series is different from Hansel & Gretel… or how My Experiments with Truth is different from Steve Jobs?

Do you know the basic difference between genres of literature?

Well, there are few thin lines that separate these similar books into two completely different genres. To understand the same, you need to know the primary difference between genres of literature.

Autobiography vs Biography

An Autobiography is the story of a person’s life written or told by the person himself. While, a Biography is the story of a person’s life written or told by another person.
In more simple words, when the person authors his life story on his own, it’s an Autobiography. And when someone else writes the life story of a person, its a Biography.
So the books such as  Steve Jobs, Long Walk to Freedom and the likes are actually different. Yeah, you got me right!

Fable vs Fantasy

A fable is a story that teaches a moral or a lesson. It often has animal characters that talk and behave almost like humans. Remember The Tortoise and the Hare? or   The Crocodile and the Monkey?
And If you dream enough, then the word Fantasy is not difficult to define. In your childhood, when your thoughts reached to the magic and you always wanted to be a magician, that is called as Fantasy in the world of literature.
Fantasy novels are often set in worlds much different from our own and usually include magic, sorcery and mythical creature. The most loved and one of the best-selling fantasy novel is the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.

Folktale vs Legend

A folktale is a story that has been passed down, usually orally, within a culture. It may be based on superstition and feature supernatural characters. Folktales include fairy tales, tall tales, trickster tales. All those stories that your grandma used to tell as you slept.. yeah.. those are all folktales.  Hansel and Gretel and the stories alike are the folktales that are passed down over generations.
On the other hand, a legend is a story that has been handed down over generations and is believed to be based on history, though it typically mixes fact and fiction. There has been a hero in every generation.T he hero of a legend is usually a human like the King Arthur in the famous legend King Arthur and the Roundtable.

Myth vs Science Fiction

A myth is a traditional story that has been accepted by a group or a particular culture. It may or may not be true, It is based on the facts that are not approved by the science. We used to have so many myths in ancient age as there was no proper evolution of the science & technology. You may have read The Greek story of the Titan Prometheus bringing fire to humankind.. it falls under the label of Myth.
While Science fiction is an important genre of literature that contributes writing of science & technology. If you come across this combination of words while running your eyes on the book covers, then don’t get surprised, Generally writings on this particular genre involve the vision of the future science and its limits that yet to achieve. Novels like The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert A. Heinlein or The Martian by Andy Weir are some notable Sci Fi works.

Now that you have learnt the basic difference between genres of literature, the next time you get your hands on any book, you know what it is!!


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    • Hello Angela.. Lit Fic is basically a contemporary genre of fiction that focuses on presenting the reality with literary merit rather than the commercial stereotypical and overrated literature. With help of the inner stories of the characters, authors of lit fic try to outline a social, political or emotional issue of the society. Lit Fic is pretty wider than one can expect.. I hope this helps. 🙂


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