The Importance of Classics

Classics. Big, professional-looking books sold by Barnes and Noble in those beautiful leather editions that we all just love to collect and look at on our shelves. Why are they important?

We’ve all been in that situation where we have to read a classic for school. I, myself, had to read Great Expectations, which was something I was not excited for. You could say that I didn’t have great expectations about it. Now that I have that weak pun out of the way, classics are certainly daunting. Not only are the majority massive in size, but more than half of them are hardly in English! So why do we even need to read them? Well, that’s what I hope to tell you!

1.  Classics Help Us in Real Life Situations

Believe it or not, classics are probably applied to your life on a daily basis regardless of you reading them or not. I know everyone that read Lord of the Flies in school is just thinking “yes, I’ve spent a lot of time on a deserted island with only kids and a monster trying to kill us all.” No, that’s not what I meant. Using Lord of the Flies as an example, though, you need to look at the hidden context and not take everything so literal. In this case, you can apply how people can be cruel and turn on each other without a second thought. Maybe you think about this when your friends ditch you or when a significant other cheats on you. Everyone has thought at one time in their life about how cruel people can be. Didn’t this start on such a happy note? Another example would be Fahrenheit 451. In this sense, it could be both literal and have a hidden meaning. Yes, there have been mass burnings of books before, but it could also symbolize how books, documents, etc. have been censored, destroying the original stories.

2. Classics Help Expand Vocabulary

Sort of obvious. You can open the first page of some classics and see those huge words that take up half the line and your mind just goes blank. Nothing makes sense anymore and you have to put down your book to pick up your two inch copy of the Webster (or you can Google it, but that’s too easy). After finding your mystery word, you proudly pick your novel back up and read two more lines before getting stuck again. Oi. However, you now know a whole two words that you never knew before. A tedious practice, but you’re learning and that’s all that matters in the end. Right?

3. Every Time You Read a Classic, It’s Like Reading it for the First Time

Not something you would expect. Classics are complicated. They have a relatively new language and every time you read it, you discover something you never noticed before, so it’s like reading it for the first time! Isn’t that neat? I know that if I could read my favourite book again for the first time, I would do it in a heart beat, just to fall in love with it all over again. There’s something almost poetic about it.

4. The Reason is in the Name

Classics! We use the term ‘classics’ to describe books that have faced the wear and tear of time and are still around today! These books have been read for decades, some even centuries and we are still talking about them and learning from them. There is a small chance that you will see sparkling vampires on the High School reading list in fifty years, but 1984 and To Kill a Mockingbird will still be there. Of course, by that time, Harry Potter might be considered a classic as well. Who knows!


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