Literary Canon The literary canon is a collection of written works. In literature, there are elements such as setting, characters, themes, and key messages that are common across genres. Select and answer 2 of the following: What is the historical and cultural significance of literature? Why do you think literature is important? Describe your understanding of the main genres of literature. How do the main genres of literature differ from one another? How are the main genres of literature similar? What are common literary themes? Some genres allow the author to approach a theme indirectly, while other genres are more direct. How are themes expressed across the genres?