Musing About Things: On Classic Literature

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Hi guys, welcome to Book Munchies’ Musing about Things: A Discussion (Post). Inspired by memes such as Should Be Reading‘s Musing Monday & Caffeinated Book Reviewer‘s Caffeinated Confessions (etc.), this is a Book Munchies discussion post, where I’ll be rambling about (mostly) book-related things and hopefully you guys will join in on the fun too (:

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It’s probably no secret that I dislike classic literature. I mean who likes reading classics anyways? They’re boring stuff. The kind of literature that makes you fall asleep on not even half way through chapter five.

The ones that we are forced to read in our English classes that makes us tear our hairs out because of all the ridiculous symbolism we have to find. No wonder people are majoring in math and sciences than in the arts. It’s probably easier to figure out the angle of a triangle in geometry than figuring what the heck does the green light in The Great Gatsby mean.

I don’t exactly hate-hate classic literature with a passion that I won’t ever touch them again in my life; however, I do like some of them. There are some really good ones out there. I loved Gogol’s The Overcoat when I had to read it for my French-Russian literature class and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, even reading Huck Finn the second time around made me laugh at the satire that I overlooked before. Shakespeare and Edmund Spencer might give us a headache, but really it’s pretty awesome stuff once you figure out what they’re trying to say. But, let’s face it classic literature is vague with a capital ‘V.’

I guess one of the biggest reasons why I dislike classic lit is because of the language. It gives me a headache trying to figure out what the heck they’re trying to say. Sure, it’s English but the grammar back then was all funky and didn’t make sense. And also because I was forced to. When someone forces you to read something, of course you’re not going to like it. In fact, you rebel and decide that you dislike it. I also can’t relate to girls like Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. I like relating to the characters because it makes things easier to see what their motivations are and you can sympathize with them. Most of the characters I read in classic lit were stupidly selfish characters, but there are some stupidly selfish characters in YA lit too. Also, there is the chance that you get hit by the feels more in YA lit than in classic literature. I have never cried at the ending to The Awakening by Kate Chopin as compared to crying in Harry Potter in the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Classic lit is not something I am emotionally invested in. I have to read it because I have to.  While I do mostly read YA novels nowadays I can’t help but appreciate the beauty of some classic literature that I’ve read before and would like to reread one day.

However, classic literature does come with a price and that price is that there are absolutely no swoony boyfriends. Like none at all. Yes, it’s a tragic. Romeo is not swoony material or Hamlet or Holden from The Catcher in the Rye. They just aren’t my type of guys.

Whenever I read classic lit I almost imagine the guy characters to be old, someone way past my age. I can’t imagine people finding Mr. Darcy to be swoony in Pride and Prejudice, but hey I’m not judging you if you do. I did kind of have a thing for Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility though (this was before watching the BBC version and my friend pointed out Alan Rickman was playing him). That’s just probably me. Seriously, I didn’t find that one guy from Wuthering Heights swoon-worthy. Maybe it’s why I perfer YA novels. It’s so much easy to read about fictional guys who are swoon-worthy than classic literature guys who sound pretentious.

Despite the lack of swoon-worthy guys, I’m glad that I read classics. There’s unexpected humor and even though it’s boring and so many pages it’s actually pretty rewarding after you finish one of those thick heavy books. Some of my favorites were Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Tempest by William Shakespeare, and “The Importance of Being Ernest” by Oscar Wilde. Once you get what they are “talking” about it’s so easy to be immerse in them.

Do you love classic literature? What was your favorite classic novel that you were “forced” to read in school?

Author: Jackie

0 Comment

  1. Ahm *cough cough* I can now admit that I really had to force my way through Jane Austen and of the 3-pack of books only managed 1 and 3/4. Yes, it definitely is the language for me as well which makes it very difficult and I don’t enjoy it really….
    Not really a classic as such, but the one I did love was Jules Verne.

    1. But, at least you tried! 🙂 I didn’t get past chapter 12 on Pride and Prejudice if that makes you feel any better. Anyways, I’d consider Jules Verne a classic. Never read any of her works, but her books sounds pretty interesting.

  2. LOL Mr Darcy was everyone’s perfect guy back in the day! But I find it hilarious how you said no one was swoony hehehe. There are some great classic literature out there like Picture of Dorian Gray. But a lot of it the language is a bit more complicated and olden day I think. Thanks for your discussion, Jackie!

    1. I didn’t really get what everyone saw in Mr. Darcy, but I guess I have to read past chapter 12 to see why. A lot of the characters I find in classics are broody and not the boy next door we all come to swoon over like we do in YA. Yes the language isn’t something we’re used to, but I guess if you read enough of the classics you’ll get used to it eventually.

  3. I do like it, but it’s not something I could read every day. I sometimes like to pick one up as a ‘challenge’ and to have some more variation. It’s always interesting that I think the romance is much more swoonworthy on TV than in the book itself :p

    1. I agree with you Mel. Classics are definitely a challenge and one that needs motivation to get through. lol yes it does help if the actor that plays the character is more swoonworthy than you originally think they aren’t.

  4. I’ve struggled with classics too. I enjoyed Tom Sawyer and a few other things in the past, but by and large I’ve always avoided them because of yes, the language or the ponderousness of them. It’s hard to plow through something you really don’t want to read in the first place, especially with stuff out there you DO want to read. 🙂 Having said that, there are a few I’d like to get to someday… somebody mentioned Jules verne, I would like to read some of those.

    1. So glad to hear I’m not the only one who avoided them too. Oh definitely, you need some kind of motivation (although I think taking a quiz on it hardly is the best kind of motivation to get through them). I hope you get to read some of the classics you’ve been meaning to read soon. I think for some people it is helpful to watch the films first before reading to understand what’s going on in the story.

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