Would I pick up classics by myself? Probably not. Do I really hate some of the ones I’ve been forced to read? Heck yes. Have I kind of enjoyed some of them? I very grudgingly have to say yes here. I’m not sure if I would ever pick up something that is considered a “classic” voluntarily, even with my goal of branching out more. I’ve always had an aversion to them and I know some people feel the same way. I thought it would be fun to talk about why I, personally, am not the biggest fans of them.
I would honestly read anything else. There are books that sound more interesting, more exciting, and more up my alley than these classic books.
I don’t know why teens have to study them in school. Not a lot of people can relate to them and not many feature teens. And it’s all the older people who are showering these books with praise, so let them study it and give us books that we could actually see ourselves in.
I’ve also found a lack of diversity, at least in the classes I’ve took, in my school. Please, I do not want to read about old white dude’s issues. I do not want discuss these books in class. I don’t think we’re reading a single book by a POC in my AP English class.
As I’ve read these books and found the themes and the messages it was trying to get across, I’ve been able to think of a another book that has the same message, but is presented in a more relatable way. In a way that teens could find interesting, that teens could relate to, with diverse characters, by diverse authors. I mean, those books are there. Teach us those lessons through those books. But YA gets a bad rap.
Despite this, I still think classics are important. People still talk about them for a reason and people know their titles for a reason. Yes, I think they should be studied. (Please, more diverse books though) I think there are things to be learned from them and I guess kids have to learn to read things they rather would not. I just feel there should be changes made. Let teens hate them and let them talk badly about them. Talk about why they hate them. They’ll still get value out of that discussion! My English teacher let’s us rip a book to shreds if that’s how we really feel and it’s honestly made the class a lot more enjoyable for me. Don’t force kids to like a book just because it’s considered a classic.
All this to say, I don’t think I’ve been taught classics in a great way. I haven’t been exposed to the many a classics out there. I don’t actively search them out. I only read what is put in front of me in class. So maybe I’m missing a whole other side of them and this is me just complaining about my school’s system haha. I guess the bottom line is that they should be taught differently and kid’s opinions should be able to blossom on their own.
If you have differing opinions on this, I would love to here them! I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have a recommendation for a classic that you love, I would really like to hear that too! Maybe there are amazing ones that I would love, but just haven’t read yet.
Thank you for reading!