In Literature What Makes A Classic Analysis

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In today’s society, high schools around the country are given a required reading list of the books they 're going to be reading and trying to analyze and understand. These books tend to be dubbed as classics, however even though society is told they 're classics, there is a significant difference between them. Those differences being how those books are being perceived as either being ideal and real. This gives an insight on how the book impacts a reader and why society considers these novels to be classic. To understand this, the definition need to to be understood for is ideal and real in this form of context. With ideal classics, the novels that truly fall in this category are novels that deal with the issues of that…show more content…
What is most interesting in the interview was that neither Mehta, Z.Z. Packer (author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere), nor Joan Didion (author of We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live) would offer a concrete list of the characteristics of a classic novel. The features of a classic that were offered, however, were consistent with those that designated as ideal. They include an ability to speak across the generations, the effort to address issues that may be uncomfortable or hard to discuss, and a combination of excellent style and subject matter. But above all, a classic must change a person and their awareness of themselves. Mehta said that the definition of a classic novel that he would agree with most is one by Clifton Fadiman (editor and critic, 1904–99), who said, ”When you re-read a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in yourself than was there before.” This may accurately be said to be one of a classic novel’s greatest strengths: its innate ability to change the way a person views the world and everything in it, as seen through the ideal…show more content…
As it is, however, that is most definitely not the case. Many readers appreciate books for what they most immediately bring: entertainment, distraction from the real world, or some kind of romantic connection to themselves. In regard to classic novels, specifically, the case is very bleak. These novels do not really receive the appreciation many argue they deserve. It seems that, in general, people accept that a novel is a classic because it has always been categorized that way. For example, a high school student may be reading a novel that his teacher tells him is a classic. His father read the same novel in high school and was also told that it was a classic. Neither the father nor the son question that the novel is a classic because of this lasting reputation and do not look into the true reasons that the novel is considered in such a way. Very often, as in this example, the label is what they are comfortable with, what they have always known, and what they have accepted. In the very real sense of what a classic is, it entertains, it is old, and everyone has, for as long as anyone can remember, called it a
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