Classics and I, we don't have too strong of a relationship. I made it a resolution of mine for 2016 to read more than 5 classics, but of course, that didn't go as planned. I took that goal and put it under my 2017 resolutions list, so hopefully I can smack some sense into myself before the end of the year comes. This year, I plan to challenge my reading and analysis skills, particularly going towards more challenging texts (in this case classic books). I wasn't completely useless in 2016, though. I did have classics assigned from school, and those are the books we're going to look at today!
1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I remember reading this in 9th grade and really enjoying the pace. Apart from being a really symbolic story in terms of the manifestation of evil and savagery, it was an action-packed and angsty book. I didn't expect to like this one at first because, like my initial reaction with all classic books, I thought it was going to be a hard book to read and understand. I also thought it was going to be boring because it was labeled under the "classic" category. To be honest, I was very wary of reading any classics because I thought I wouldn't understand the writing style. I ended up really enjoying this one, especially because the characters were young and their actions were relatable.
2. The Odyssey by Homer
My obvious reluctance towards reading this book was because it was COMPOSED SOMETIME IN THE 8TH CENTURY. I was sure this book was going to be hella cryptic, and I would spend more time on Sparknotes rather than reading the actual book. Fast forward to today, I actually appreciate this book more than I thought I would. One reason could be attributed to my love for Greek mythology, which is the groundwork for The Odyssey. I also thought this particular novel challenged me because it was a poem and there was a very rhythmic tone to it.
3. 1984 by George Orwell
This book was reminiscent of a dystopian novel, and I like how this book made me pay attention to every detail. With most classics, I like how they don't give you happy endings. That would be too unrealistic. The best part of this book was that knuckle-gripping ending, wow! I also had the pleasure of watching the film adaptation with my class, and it really eventuated my understanding.
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I thought that this book had the shared the same kind of vibes with 1984, and I enjoyed it just as much. No, not only because it was about books! Well of course not, they outlaw books in this book! This was the first classic book I ever read for school, as it was assigned during the summer of my first year of high school. I remember reading it at first but feeling extremely bored because I wasn't used to reading classics. Again, after discussing it in class and even writing a play with the characters, I have come to appreciate its message.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I actually just finished TGG two nights ago, so excuse me for a second. *sips water, clears throat* GUYS, GUYS, GUYSSSSSS. I can't get over this book, literally the perfection of it all and the entire message of the book coming together in the end. My entire perception of it might be altered because I loved the movie, but the book added so much more depth the characters and the world. The movie missed a lot of small things that happened in the book and the small quirks of the characters. I was so happy to finally have read this book, after having my doubts at first because this is historical fiction. Historical fiction and I are like water and oil- we don't mix! Yet again, the 1920's is my favorite time period!
I didn't 100% understand everything but after discussing a lot with my classmates, I understand and appreciate the themes behind the book and the direction that Fitzgerald took to get the message out there. Now all I need is the beautiful Penguin Classics edition, muahahhaha!