Are classic books still relevant in today's world?

For June 2020 we'll be reading Classic books.
Post Reply
User avatar
hsimone
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 6188
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: One Salt Sea
Bookshelf Size: 495
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hsimone.html
Latest Review: You & Me & Allergies by Shelly Orloff
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
fav_author_id: 0

Are classic books still relevant in today's world?

Post by hsimone »

Since times have changed quite a bit over the years, I thought it would be interesting to explore if books that are considered classics still hold a place in today’s youth.

Should students be required to read books that are considered classics? Are they still relevant in today’s world? Can today’s children understand these books in order to make them meaningful?

What do you think? :eusa-think:
She/Her/Hers

"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." – Sophocles

"Love is patient, love is kind." - 1 Corinthians 13:4
User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 50776
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Bookshelf Size: 2131
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
Publishing Contest Votes: 0
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

I think classics books are still relevant and students should be required to read them. Not only do they open a window to the past, but they also explore timeless themes such as identity, belonging, human motivation, and love. The language usage may be unfamiliar to a modern audience, but people don't change...
She/Her

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
User avatar
hsimone
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 6188
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: One Salt Sea
Bookshelf Size: 495
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hsimone.html
Latest Review: You & Me & Allergies by Shelly Orloff
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
fav_author_id: 0

Post by hsimone »

gali wrote: 02 Jun 2020, 07:20 I think classics books are still relevant and students should be required to read them. Not only do they open a window to the past, but they also explore timeless themes such as identity, belonging, human motivation, and love. The language usage may be unfamiliar to a modern audience, but people don't change...
That's a good point! I think some are worthwhile to read for sure. I think it would depend on the students' reading abilities and the classic book that is chosen to read, but I do think that classics still have a place in today's world too. (As a fun FYI - one of our friends got us The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Nutcracker baby boards books for our little one who's coming next month, so we'll be starting with classics pretty early on :-D )

You're right, the language use may not be as familiar, but people and their behaviors don't change...for better or for worse...
She/Her/Hers

"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." – Sophocles

"Love is patient, love is kind." - 1 Corinthians 13:4
User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 50776
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Bookshelf Size: 2131
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
Publishing Contest Votes: 0
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

hsimone wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 17:48
gali wrote: 02 Jun 2020, 07:20 I think classics books are still relevant and students should be required to read them. Not only do they open a window to the past, but they also explore timeless themes such as identity, belonging, human motivation, and love. The language usage may be unfamiliar to a modern audience, but people don't change...
That's a good point! I think some are worthwhile to read for sure. I think it would depend on the students' reading abilities and the classic book that is chosen to read, but I do think that classics still have a place in today's world too. (As a fun FYI - one of our friends got us The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Nutcracker baby boards books for our little one who's coming next month, so we'll be starting with classics pretty early on :-D )

You're right, the language use may not be as familiar, but people and their behaviors don't change...for better or for worse...
You are expecting? Congratulations! :D
She/Her

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
User avatar
Julie-p
Posts: 102
Joined: 31 Jan 2020, 10:55
Currently Reading: Demian
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-julie-p.html
Latest Review: Chasing The Red Queen by Karen Glista

Post by Julie-p »

Definitively. Classic books are taught in school and have become in some way, general knowledge. They carry important lessons on human behavior, flaws, and identity. You even have some classics that transcended specifics cultures and have become humanity classics and are known everywhere in the world like The Art of War, Oedipus Rex, Hamlet.
Some classics should be read to children like Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but others aren't really supposed to be read by teenagers and children. I had to read Animal Farm for school when I was 14 and I liked the criticism and the lessons that can be learned, but I now I feel like I would have enjoyed and understood it more if I had read it years later. School sometimes pushes classics into teenagers who aren't a public who enjoy that kind of book, and the only result that it has is ending up with a lot of adults who don't like reading.
User avatar
hsimone
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 6188
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: One Salt Sea
Bookshelf Size: 495
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hsimone.html
Latest Review: You & Me & Allergies by Shelly Orloff
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
fav_author_id: 0

Post by hsimone »

gali wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 23:18
hsimone wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 17:48
gali wrote: 02 Jun 2020, 07:20 I think classics books are still relevant and students should be required to read them. Not only do they open a window to the past, but they also explore timeless themes such as identity, belonging, human motivation, and love. The language usage may be unfamiliar to a modern audience, but people don't change...
That's a good point! I think some are worthwhile to read for sure. I think it would depend on the students' reading abilities and the classic book that is chosen to read, but I do think that classics still have a place in today's world too. (As a fun FYI - one of our friends got us The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Nutcracker baby boards books for our little one who's coming next month, so we'll be starting with classics pretty early on :-D )

You're right, the language use may not be as familiar, but people and their behaviors don't change...for better or for worse...
You are expecting? Congratulations! :D
Yes, we're expecting a little boy. We're excited to meet our little guy! :dance: Thank you! :D
She/Her/Hers

"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." – Sophocles

"Love is patient, love is kind." - 1 Corinthians 13:4
User avatar
gali
Site Admin
Posts: 50776
Joined: 22 Oct 2013, 07:12
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Favorite Author: Agatha Christie
Currently Reading: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Bookshelf Size: 2131
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gali.html
Reading Device: B00I15SB16
Publishing Contest Votes: 0
fav_author_id: 2484

Post by gali »

hsimone wrote: 04 Jun 2020, 19:46
gali wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 23:18
hsimone wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 17:48

That's a good point! I think some are worthwhile to read for sure. I think it would depend on the students' reading abilities and the classic book that is chosen to read, but I do think that classics still have a place in today's world too. (As a fun FYI - one of our friends got us The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Nutcracker baby boards books for our little one who's coming next month, so we'll be starting with classics pretty early on :-D )

You're right, the language use may not be as familiar, but people and their behaviors don't change...for better or for worse...
You are expecting? Congratulations! :D
Yes, we're expecting a little boy. We're excited to meet our little guy! :dance: Thank you! :D
It is exciting! He is your first, right? I am happy for you! :D
She/Her

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)
User avatar
Peyton4
Posts: 29
Joined: 20 Mar 2020, 21:24
Currently Reading: The Four Hour Workweek
Bookshelf Size: 114
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-peyton4.html
Latest Review: Striking It Rich by R.H. Webster

Post by Peyton4 »

Julie-p wrote: 04 Jun 2020, 07:25 Definitively. Classic books are taught in school and have become in some way, general knowledge. They carry important lessons on human behavior, flaws, and identity. You even have some classics that transcended specifics cultures and have become humanity classics and are known everywhere in the world like The Art of War, Oedipus Rex, Hamlet.
Some classics should be read to children like Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but others aren't really supposed to be read by teenagers and children. I had to read Animal Farm for school when I was 14 and I liked the criticism and the lessons that can be learned, but I now I feel like I would have enjoyed and understood it more if I had read it years later. School sometimes pushes classics into teenagers who aren't a public who enjoy that kind of book, and the only result that it has is ending up with a lot of adults who don't like reading.
I agree classics are so important, but they aren't taught well in the public schooling system. I used to love reading, but those first few years in high school almost killed that love. I had to read "Romeo and Juliet" and "Lord of the Flies" freshman year, and I absolutely hated both of them. Senior year of high school I read a bunch of classics including "Hamlet" and "Heart of Darkness", which are some of my favorites. I don't think I would ever enjoy "Lord of the Flies", but I wish I had waited to read "Romeo and Juliet" for when I was older (and could read the uncensored version with VITAL information for the story). Just because a book has young characters, doesn't mean the message was meant for a young audience.

I wish the school systems taught classics more appropriate for a young audience. I liked "Alice in Wonderland", "The Secret Garden" and "8 Cousins" when I was younger.
May your days be full of magic and dragons.
User avatar
hsimone
Lilimaster of Bookshelves
Posts: 6188
Joined: 17 Jul 2015, 20:19
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Currently Reading: One Salt Sea
Bookshelf Size: 495
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hsimone.html
Latest Review: You & Me & Allergies by Shelly Orloff
Publishing Contest Votes: 27
fav_author_id: 0

Post by hsimone »

gali wrote: 04 Jun 2020, 22:55
hsimone wrote: 04 Jun 2020, 19:46
gali wrote: 03 Jun 2020, 23:18

You are expecting? Congratulations! :D
Yes, we're expecting a little boy. We're excited to meet our little guy! :dance: Thank you! :D
It is exciting! He is your first, right? I am happy for you! :D
He is our first one. We are very excited to welcome our little guy to our home! Thank you, gali! :D
She/Her/Hers

"Sons are the anchors of a mother's life." – Sophocles

"Love is patient, love is kind." - 1 Corinthians 13:4
User avatar
Amanda Newton
Posts: 272
Joined: 22 Aug 2018, 21:09
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 38
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-amanda-newton.html
Latest Review: Shadow's Adventure Home by Kathy Kovar

Post by Amanda Newton »

I think the entire point of a book being labelled as a classic is not that it is an old book, but that it is one that can easily stand the test of time. For me, a classic book has to be able to still be relevant. Take for example 1984 by Orwell - where war is peace and the televisions watch you and Big Brother can read your thoughts. It might seem a bit farfetched, but take a look online. How many times have you typed something in online just to see ads for something similar pop up for months after?

In Brave New World where it focuses on how consumerism can diminish intellectualism. Look at the racism in Othello. Look at the themes of police brutality and unjust prison sentences and prejudice against criminals in Les Mis. Slaughter House Five that warns about the danger of letting violence become too commonplace. Frankenstein and the prejudice that comes from being different.

Every single classic book still has something relevant to us. If it doesn't, it doesn't deserve to be a classic.
Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad?"
Alice: "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
User avatar
aftabyunis
Posts: 61
Joined: 22 Nov 2018, 13:36
Currently Reading: The fourth Dimension
Bookshelf Size: 31
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-aftabyunis.html
Latest Review: The Defeat of COVID by Colleen Huber, NMD

Post by aftabyunis »

It depends on the book, so let see it from both perspectives. The first is: classical books are still relevant if some have prophetic aspects in it. For instance, there are many books that talk about the present context and its implications are relevant to the future also. However, there are few books that also need revision to make it meaningful for the present context, if any classical writing does not contribute to the present it means the need is to look at those books that are speaking about the present issues.
User avatar
yapashley
Posts: 196
Joined: 11 Jun 2020, 02:47
Currently Reading: Crown of Crimson (The Afterlight Chronicles Book 1)
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-yapashley.html
Latest Review: Oblivion Threshold by J.R. Mabry and B.J. West

Post by yapashley »

Definitely! In my personal opinion, I feel that I won't feel that sense of accomplishment of being an avid reader if I don't even try to read the classic ones. That's why I recently started buying the classic books and slowly reading them, book by book.
Post Reply

Return to “June 2020 Genre Discussion”