Why Do We Have to Read THESE Books?

Nicole Morelli

Every year in our English classes we are forced to read several books that some would argue are some of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Most students, though, think otherwise.

From Shakespeare to John Steinbeck,these are only a few of the authors whose books we are forced to read year after year. There are always deeper meanings, and words no one understands that we are expected to know. Students are forced to know every detail and be able to pass quizzes by just naming all of the characters. Have you ever tried to name all of the characters from Crime and Punishment? Well, let me tell you, it is not easy.

I just have one question though… What is it that really makes these books so great? They were all written a very long time ago; so what? It has several life lessons in it; so what? Most of the books are full of jabber and nonsense that even the authors probably didn’t know what they were talking about. According to NoSweatShakespeare.com it is believed Shakespeare wrote most of his plays while taking several types of narcotics. What ifShakespeare’s “deeper meanings” weren’t deeper meaning at all?

People think that all of these books are the books kids should experience while in high school. I think that for once we should be allowed to choose our own books and given essay prompts and quizzes and tests that can works for any books someone chooses. Teachers tell us we can learn things from all of these books, such as life lessons, but is there really a way to connect what happened so long ago to our sophisticated lives that exist today? If teachers want us to read what we are assigned, maybe they should try allowing us to read something that we want to read.