Classics in Literature

John Curtis, Freshman

School is where you go to get an education. And there is a variety of school subjects to learn, such as math, history, and science. Then there is English. In elementary school, you learn about sentences and how to make them. Then later you will learn about books, which are one of the greatest tools for learning. Before computers, if you wanted to know when the dinosaurs went extinct you would need to find it in a book.

The people who write books are known as authors. Books nowadays are really good. But if you asked an adult which books that they would consider to be classics, they would probably say books like The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and Romeo and Juliet. All of these books are popular and considered classics because they teach valuable life lessons and are still really great to read.

The four books are so popular that in most high schools around the world it is part of the English curriculum to read them. But, unfortunately, most schools make you read them, and if someone forces you to do something, then whatever you are doing might not be interesting to you. Because schools force students to read those books, the students might not care about the book and might not understand how iconic and popular the book really is. Even though I have only read two of the books I mentioned, I am going to give my review on them, and why YOU need to read these books, and why they should remain a classic.

I read the first book actually a few days ago, but it was so good that I just had to mention it. The book is called Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Most of you who are reading this do know the plot to Of Mice and Men. The reason I loved this book so much is because of its themes and symbols. For example, there is the common theme of friendship between George and Lennie. Also, at the beginning of the book, George tells Lennie that if he gets into trouble to go to the little river where they sleep the first night. Although the river symbolizes a safe place initially, it does not turn out that way by the book’s end, thus adding irony into the mix. I also like how Steinbeck shows the effect of racism during the time period of the 1930’s. At the ranch, there is only one black worker named Crooks, who cannot, as he explains to Lennie in Chapter 4, play cards or eat with the other white guys on the ranch. This is also why Crooks has his own room inside the barn. I think that this book is so good and so educational that it should remain in schools and be considered a classic for years to come.

The second book I read was To Kill a Mockingbird. I read this book in 8th grade English class. This was the first classic book I read in school and one that I personally liked. I thought the concept of Tom Robinson being accused of rape and Atticus defending him because it’s the right thing to do is interesting and important because it’s all about justice. I also like how the book includes a mystery with the character of Boo Radley and how he is like a ghost in the town of Maycomb. My 8th grade English teacher told me that sometime in your high school career you should read the book again so you fully understand it, but I doubt many of you have read To Kill a Mockingbird twice. I think it is good to read the book again so you can spot new things that you didn’t notice before. And maybe if you didn’t understand something when you read it the first time, when you read it the second time, you can fully understand it. This book is considered one of the greatest books ever. That and also The Great Gatsby. I think that this book will also stay in schools for a long time and will remain a classic.

One of the greatest ways to learn is from books. And books are what have helped us for hundreds of years. Some people say that history is harder to believe as time goes on. I think that means that in the year 2062 learning history is going to be hard because it happened so long ago. But for books, it’s different. Because at the end of the day The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird are two of the greatest books ever written. And sure there are some really old novels that exist. In fact, in your senior year at MHS, you will read a book called Beowulf, a book so old that no one even knows who wrote it or when it was published. But still, it’s such a great story that in 2022 we still read it. That’s why I think that even in 2062, books like The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird will still be read in schools because they are such good stories and provide such great life lessons that are perfect for high school students. We might even be reading these books in the year 3000, who knows?

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