Thursday, March 30, 2006

So called Classical Literature.

The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Adventures of Huck Finn. The Raven, The Cruicable. These titles should be familar to most adults, and not a few highschoolers too. I like to read, infact I carry a book around everywhere I go, one in the car, in my back-pack at school; it is everywhere. Most of the books that I enjoy are sci-fi or fantasy but more sci-fi to it.

A large percentage of the books that I read would not be considered literature, and hey that is fine, I'm not expecting them to. Now get this- I read them because I find them intresting. All of those "classics" that I first listed are boring. I did not enjoy reading them at all, in fact Huck Finn was the second book in High school so far that I have not actually finished, the other being the Joy Luck Club-that book was too painful, but it did have intresting parts, chiefly being the views about the Second World War.

I read books not to find out the mysteries of life, or find enlightenment but to be entertained. It is fine if an author has put some sort of message for society in their work as in Huck Finn or to Kill a Mockingbird (the best book that I have had to read so far in high school). I just do not think that I should have to be reading the book specifically to find out that purpose.
You will find that The Raven and The Cruciable are listed seperatly because those I found to be somewhat enjoyable.

In another book that I'm reading slowely but surely, out side of school is The Razor's Edge I think it was (been to busy to read it for a while, I might have even finished it, its been so long since I looked at it I forgot where I was in it) the protagonist is trying to find the meaning of life and enlightment so he buys all these books to try to find it, and as he sits on the mountain top he realizes that the best use of these books is to light them on fire so that he can stay warm. He didn't need a book to find that out. English Class is like that- I do not need a book to tell me that opression is wrong, nor another book to tell me that a boy grows up to be a young man is really about the morality of slavery.

Any person with half a brain can see that. The Salem witch trials serving as an allegory to the 1950's with McCarthyism at the forefront- do I need a book to tell me it is better to live honorably with yourself then to live a lie? I guess, according to English classes I do. But that I do not mind, beacause it is subtle. All you have for context is the fact that Mr. Miller was blacklisted. Much like the characters in his play. Imagine that, a work of Literature drawing on real life; Shocking isn't it?

If the teachers and professors are trying to teach us moral lessons and they actually want us to read them then perhaps they can pick something more widely understood. I will even offer a suggestion to get them started- A Clock Work Orange, yeah its violent, but after reading that I understood that cheap thrills and kicks are not what its cracked up to be- or read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. That book also raises points, McMurphy seemed to be sane, yet he was in a mental asylum. Perhaps society judges people wrong? Oh and one final comment-why do you try to throw several things at us, we're not simpletons, and when we don't understand something, we ask for help; but for once can you not just give us the book, see what we come up with on oursleves, and guide the conversations from there. Who knows, students could come up with these ideas ourselves instead of being force fed them. But we will never know will we, unless you try.

Trav the Spazz

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