Classics Club July Question

Good morning there, book lovers πŸ™‚

It’s time for the July question-of-the-month, courtesy of the Classics Club. Here’s the question:

“What classic book has changed your view on life, social mores, political views, or religion?”

shifty eyes

 

My initial reaction was “Umm, none.” Cause really, there are very few books at all that can change someone’s view on something. Maybe it will reinforce things you already felt, or give you a newΒ point of viewΒ on an issue, but it seems a rarer thing for a book to actually change your mind on any issues that serious.

That being said, I wanted to come up with SOMETHING, so here we go:

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger made me realize how much I hate whiny teenage characters. And it might be why I have to little tolerance for them now. (I’m looking at you, 5th book Harry Potter).
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X, written by Alex Haley and Malcolm X, gave me a whole new perspective on the Civil Rights movement. Not only was the book completely engrossing, but I also realized that I liked his approach to black equality a lot more than MLK Jr.’s. It just made so much more sense. When I was a kid in school, we learned about MLK Jr every freaking February. Not ONCE was Malcolm X and his efforts mentioned in any of my classes. That’s a shame, and I’m glad that I eventually picked this book up. This is still one of my all-time favorites, one that I try to re-read every few years.
  • Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean – I’m not actually sure if this is considered a classic… But it spawned a movie AND a play and it’s 20 years old and still popular, so I’m going with it. This book made me look more into the capital punishment system and I guess made meΒ think about which sideΒ of the capital punishment debate I’m on. The book itself is intense and full of information, but I did other research after reading it about the injustices of the judicial system and for that reason alone, I fall into the anti-death penalty camp.

Aaaand… that’s all I got! It’s REALLY hard to think of classics that would have had any effect on my opinions about politics, society, religion, etc – especially fiction classics. Maybe that’s because I didn’t read many classics until I was already out of my teen years, so I had already had opinions on these things? But that makes it sounds like I haven’t changed my mind about anything in the last decade and of course I have. Just not due to classics, I guess.

Anyways! What classics influenced or changed you in some way?

~Sarah

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13 comments

  1. My opinions on things are so set, I can’t imagine a book REALLY changing my mind on something. Am I stubborn as a goat. yea kinda.

    You stop your mean words about Catcher! Putting my fingers in my ears, “la la la la, I can’t hear you!” πŸ˜‰

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    1. Yeah… a book would have to be REALLY special to change your mind about something. And you’d probably have to seek it out to begin with, and you probably wouldn’t enjoy it… right.

      I can’t help it! Catcher in the Rye was one of the first classics I tried out a few years ago… and that’s all I can say about that.

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  2. “Maybe it will reinforce things you already felt, or give you a new point of view on an issue, but it seems a rarer thing for a book to actually change your mind on any issues that serious.” THIS. Huck Finn was the first classic I read in school that I genuinely liked, so I guess it changed my belief that everything they assigned in high school was designed to torment me. (Moby Dick, I’m looking at YOU!)

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    1. I’m so lucky that there wasn’t assigned reading like that in my high school, because I never had to suffer through things I had no patience for. The only thing I remember being forced to read was “Hamlet” in middle school and come on… we barely understood that. I don’t remember ANYTHING from it.

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      1. We did Hamlet in high school, so we “got” more of it. But really the part that sticks out to me is the king being poisoned by having the poison poured into his ear. I was unaware that was a thing. My new curse shall be “I will poison your ear canal!”

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      2. LOL. I don’t remember that at all! It definitely would’ve been better if it had been in high school. Don’t know why they thought 5th or 6th graders would be able to keep Shakespeare straight.

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  3. Hahaha! Seriously, you always make me smile. There’s like this nice question about classics and you’re like, um. . . none. πŸ™‚

    I think The Handmaid’s Tale is just amazing and Xingu by Edith Wharton has made me realize how witty and satirical classics can be (plus it’s super duper short!).

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    1. The Handmaid’s Tale is fantastic! But see even then, it’s not like it changed my mind on anything or gave me some big revelation… it’s just a scary-ass book! What’s Xingu about? Because I almost started Summer by her the other day and just one chapter in I already kind of hated the main character, so I quit, lol.

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  4. I also struggled to think of a book that had changed my opinion. I don’t know whether it’s stubbornness or not really or maybe I just can’t remember an example!
    Lynn πŸ˜€

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