Literature reflects culture. Reading literature from cultures that differ from our own allows us insight into those cultures. We can learn about the heritage, social customs, values, and other aspects of a culture that help to shape it and make it unique. Having knowledge of different cultures allows us to better understand and appreciate the diversity in our world. It provides us with information to better understand the roles of customs and social expectations in other societies. Reading literature from other cultures helps us to acquire new perspectives, which in turn should broaden our knowledge and create an appreciation for the literary heritage that comes from people of diverse backgrounds.In this course, you will read a variety of short stories. These works express different views, and they are set in different times and places, and yet they will examine some common human issues. One of the central ideas in the course is theme. Theme is the main idea that an author expresses in a work of literature. You will learn to identify themes in literature across many different cultures.