In order to promote her new site, LitGuides.com (a site dedicated to helping teachers/students navigate classic lit), Kristen over at Book Club Classicshas started her first meme – and thekoolaidmom over at In the Shadow of Mt. TBR tagged me for it. The questions are below, and I’m tagging (although I don’t know/remember who has done this and who hasn’t): She is Too Fond of Books, Presenting Lenore, 2 Many Books 2 Read, Adventures in Never-Never Land, Book Zombie, and Nashville Book Worm. But hey, if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it 🙂
- What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school (and why)?
- What was the worst classic you were forced to endure (and why)?
- Which classic should every student be required to read (and why)?
- Which classic should be put to rest immediately (and why)?
- **Bonus** Why do you think certain books become classics?
1. Hmm the best classic. Probably a tie. “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton was one I read in seventh grade and I loved it. It’s just such a fascinating story, what happens to Sodapop, Ponyboy, Johnny, Dally etc… every character was different. The story of the greasers and the socs- unforgettable. I also read “Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier in tenth grade. Now that was a thriller. I had no expectations for that book but found myself unable to put it down. That twist in there- I didn’t see it coming. I also loved “Jane Eyre“, and “The Hobbit” (although I didn’t like “The Hobbit” when I had to read it in sixth grade- it wasn’t until I tried it again when I was older that I actually enjoyed it.)
2. Ugh the worst classic. So many come to mind… “Grapes of Wrath“, “The Unvanquished“… Actually I think that’s all that comes to mind. Honestly I don’t remember why I hated them- I just did. Oh, also I hated “Mama Day” and “Brave New World”, but I’m not sure either of them count as classics. It’s odd, since I was in honors classes, I missed out on what regular English classes were reading, and some of them probably sucked. (Honestly I think our English program was awful… I never read “The Illiad“, “The Odessy“, “Canterbury Tales“, “1984“, “The Great Gatsby“, “Wuthering Heights“, “Catch-22“, “Slaughterhouse-five“, no Austen, no Dickens, no Tolstoy, no Dostoyevsky, no Twain… I could go on and on!)
3. I’m going to cheat on this question. I don’t think that everyone should be forced to read a certain book. The ‘forcing’ just makes kids not want to read. One thing I thought was a great idea was what my tenth grade English teacher did- he gave options. You had four plays to chose from, four children’s literature books, four classics, and four biographies. This was how I ended up reading “Rebecca“. But the fact that I had options didn’t put so much pressure on, and thus I enjoyed it more. (But I do feel that everyone should read some Shakespeare in school- really in depth Shakespeare, not just going over it and having students pretend like they understand it.)
4. The classic that should be put to rest… hmm. That’s a tough one. I don’t think anything should really be put to rest- after all one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I’m sure there are people out there who think that “Grapes of Wrath” is their favorite book, even though I hated it. Okay wait, make them put down “Animal Farm“- oh my god did I hate that….
5. As for why certain books become classics, to me its whether or not they stand the test of time. “Pride and Prejudice” was published in 1813. “Oliver Twist” in 1837. “The Three Musketeers” in 1844. “Jane Eyre” in 1847. “Little Women” in 1868. I could go on and on. Books older than this, books newer than this…. The Harry Potter books for example could become classics in my eyes, simply because a hundred years from now, kids may still be reading them. But, I don’t consider them classics yet… I don’t think I have a certain amount of time in my head, that a book has to have been around for before it becomes a classic- but the HP books are definitely too new. I count the Lord of the Rings as a classic, even though that was published around 1954. So maybe *around* 50 years to me makes a classic- to me.
Sorry I’m babbling on about the last question!
Does anybody else have a certain amount of time that a book has to have been around for, before it can be called a classic?
Missed my last post? It was REVIEW, INTERVIEW, AND GIVEAWAY: “SURVIVING BEN’S SUICIDE” BY C. COMFORT SHIELDS.