Aidan Renteria

Telling a story is one of the most powerful means that someone has to influence, teach, and inspire. When a story catches our attention and engages us, we are more likely to absorb the message and meaning within it, thus making that journey resonate with the reader, which makes many classic books still relevant to this day.

Are classic novels still relevant?

April 28, 2022

Classics novels are classics for a reason

Some people may associate classic novels with the bland books they had to read for school that they SparkNoted; however, people who think that classics are pointless need to remember that these books deserve the praise they have been given. Classics give people a chance to hear voices that belong to different periods. Whether or not the story is based on true events, the time period that the author belonged in impacted their style of writing.

While some people could argue that the classic novels sound “dated,” modern storytelling always takes inspiration from classics. Without William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” there would not be “West Side Story,” or without Jane Austen’s “Emma,” there would not be “Clueless.” 

Classics show how far storytelling has come and open up the realm of possibilities it could have in the future. Classics novels became classics because of the impacts they have made in the world of literature. They have provided inspiration to other writers, some of which have created classics themselves. Classic novels have helped the storytelling style grow.

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Classics morals can be told through more relevant books

While classics may have been an excellent example in the past, they are not a good replica of the present. Today, the modern-day human is not venturing out west on horse and buggy or is going through the great depression. The modern-day human is discovering the individuality of their religion, gender, sexuality, etc. These things are not taught in the classics. 

The definition of a classic is “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.” For these books to be judged with good reviews in the early 1900s and to still be redeemed as undated now is preposterous, because their are so many other books that create better examples in modern times. 

For example, “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare is a story that students enrolled in freshman English I at Metea. While the moral of the book stays relevant to this generation, there are so many better stories that can tell this, such as “Five Feet Apart” by Mikki Daughtry. This story is about two teenagers with cystic fibrosis who fall in love but can not be within five feet of one another. They have a barrier to their love just like Romeo and Juliet. Their love relates to people of this generation therefore helping tell a better story to their audience.

“Five Feet Apart” compared to “Romeo and Juliet” is one of many examples of stories that can be modernized to entertain the people reading the classics either for a class project, a book club, or just for fun. Classics are not relevant to the modern-day world due to the fact that they can be replaced with other books that relate the same moral message while relating to this generation. 

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