Some classics that I’ve read have enchanted me, and I completely understand why they are classics. The Great Gatsby, for instance, tells a story of an affair that simply couldn’t turn into a stable love. The Scarlet Letter, although slow as a tortoise, explored the idea of sinning and repentance in Hester Prynne. A Tale of Two Cities discussed sacrifice and love in the midst of one of the goriest, most dangerous times in history. Heart of Darkness tells a story of Marlow, an overly curious man who I couldn’t connect to. See the difference?
A classic should teach us a lesson; I touched on it in my previous post. That’s why we read books, right? We want to learn from them and figure out how to improve ourselves through the fictional characters. We should connect to novels, and in all honesty, I cannot imagine someone connecting with Marlow and Heart of Darkness. In other words, a novel should not be painful.
Heart of Darkness is the first classic I’ve read for school that I simply shrugged when I finished the book. What did I learn? Maybe how to fight through the pain of doing something I really didn’t want to do. I didn’t really connect to any characters and half the time I had to reread paragraphs because I had no idea what was supposed to be happening.
I really hope that I start to like this novel as we discuss it once school starts (oh no, why did I mention that), but as of now, I can’t imagine ever liking this book. I thought Of Mice and Men was bad, but at least I felt some emotion while reading that! If someone actually enjoyed this book, please tell me why because I have no idea what the appeal is.
Have you ever struggled against a novel that you really wanted to enjoy but just couldn’t? What is it about books that can break our hearts or barely tap them? Happy kommenting :)