In honor of her new website LitGuides.com (a site dedicated to teachers and students who need a little help navigating classic literature), Kristen from Book Club Classics tagged a few of us with this "classics" meme! It's been awhile since I've read a lot of classics (and I'm certainly not an expert), but I'll give this one a shot!
What is the best classic you were “forced” to read in school (and why)? I absolutely loved Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I remember reading it in my 12th grade World Lit class; and spending many months writing a term paper on it! I thought Dostoyevsky was an amazing writer -- I actually found myself really liking Russian authors that year. I also thought the character of Raskolnikov was so incredibly complex. There were so many themes to explore, especially guilt. It was definitely like no book I had ever read (or for that matter have read since.) Now, I'm thinking that I should take the time and read this one again.
I have to mention that I also loved reading Dante's Inferno. We spent almost an entire semester reading and discussing this one! I still vividly remember scenes from this book which is highly unusual for me!
What was the worst classic you were forced to endure (and why)? Beowulf. I can't say exactly why, but I just didn't get into it! Keep in mind that I was in 10th grade and definitely not interested in warriors and stuff like that. I also remember receiving my first C (ever) on a paper I wrote about this book. That probably didn't contribute to any fond memories of the story for me!
Which classic should every student be required to read (and why)? I'd have to say To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know it's a little trite, but it's my all-time favorite book. I could (and do) read it again and again. Atticus Finch might be my favorite character (of course, Scout's right there too.) I just love that Scout's final message (after seeing so much heartache) is that most people are kind when you really see them!
Which classic should be put to rest immediately (and why)? I don't know if I've read enough classics to do this question justice! There were a few that I didn't enjoy, but I don't know if I'd still feel that way if I read the books again as an adult. I'm going to wimp out on this one.
**Bonus** Why do you think certain books become “classics”? Good writing, of course. And, I think that most of the books' ultimate messages resonate with people and continue to resonate with people through the years.
Thanks Kristen for starting this meme. I'm not going to tag anyone specific; but I'd love to hear from you, especially if you've won a book from me in the past few weeks (not that I'm trying to guilt you into it or anything!) Please leave me a link to your meme in the comments section.