Literary Canon

By: Erica Page

To Kill a Mockingbird By: Harper Lee

Tells of discrimination, cruelty, and racism from the narrator, Scout. Scout is a strong female role that has an ironic outlook on life but still manages at the same time to be innocent. The story plot has a more circular structure with archetypal characters including the evil villain, wise father, and monster. To Kill a Mockingbird is normally taught in ninth grade since it is the developmental age to start questioning and considering perspectives of others. It depicts an important part of American history and expands the mind of people today to expose of the rough past we had with inequality toward African Americans.
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1984 By: George Orwell

1984 breaks all boundaries of the formal literary canons challenging the grounds of immorality and profanity. It has more absurd qualities in the sexual references, yet contains some form of truth when it's taken out of context. When starting the book you are suppose to heed the warning of what will happen if we progress down the rabbit hole society is already becoming. Orwell viewed the military as a essential portion of safety. This shows the consequences of a society that is in a constant state of war readiness, living in fear of being attacked. This book can rejuvenate views on topics of high interest in today's society like gun laws. Even with the dystopian society it holds some sense of truth if our nations start heading to a more communist and socialist direction.
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The Crucible By: Arthur Miller

This should be taught in schools for the major historical background. The Salem Witch trials which accused more than 200 people of witchcraft more known as "devil's work". People started to turn their back on others conforming to society. To be taught in schools would prevent something like this from occurring again.
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The Great Gatsby By: F. Scott Fitzgerald

This tells of a distortional American dream of self image and prosperity. Inside the basic American story of prosperity is the admiration for the self-made success story. Gatsby is exactly that but with a more mythical side with the appearance from the unknown. Gatsby self sucess story from poverty to immense wealth, is one to admire and teach that anyone can accomplish the given impossible. Romance of the Roaring 20's tells of the most raucous, gaudy era in American history. It is still relevant to today's society with love, loss, envy, class, and wealth. These major themes tell of the great American tragedy.
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Hamlet By: William Shakespeare

Hamlet is still relevant to today's society since the main topic can be contemplated from suicide. Which happens to still be a huge problem in today's society. What should be taken from Hamlet is the language, themes, and persuasion. Hamlet being taught in school because it expands students mind to a more complex language, teaching the students to gather more advance vocabulary to be able to discuss and interpret the work.
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Pride and Prejudice By: Jane Austen

While it is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice is a romance novel, it tells of far more wonder and lessons. Since the book is never set in a specific date it becomes a wonder of timelessness, that still happens today. The class inequality is highest form of social injustice that holds to the status of "marriage". It teaches that looks deceive, even if a marriage looks happy it is not always true. Whether relationships or people themselves since power is corrupt and beauty is used as a source of power. Elizabeth's story tells of her finding the one for her based on love and not social class. Even though it is a romance novel, romance is not everything.
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Frankenstein By: Mary Shelley

The moral standards portrayed of leaving your own creation can be applied to that of today's society. Tampering with nature becoming in a sense God, disrupts the balance between life and death. The danger of ambition as he pursues this creature, creating this obsession. Communication is key to a strong survival, the monster seeks approval and love. When taken out of context can still deal with problems of obsession with science in today's society and can portray the result in which nature always wins.
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Romeo and Juliet By: William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's language is advanced which in return teaches students to understand plot and use context clues to formulate the opinion of the story. At the start of the high school career Shakespeare should be taught as a preparation for what is to come in the future as a basic understanding of his plays. By looking into someones love story it teaches students not be melodramatic about relationships, that everything happens in time.
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Lord of the Flies By: William Golding

This teaches a valuable lesson that everyone has the capacity to be evil. This is suppressed by the laws of society and when these are taken away every man defends for himself. The most valuable thing shown is that society shapes are moral and social lives. This teaches a more realistic thing to happen when humans are put in desperate situations. Some topics still stand today with violence being funny including T.V shows and video games.
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Macbeth By: William Shakespeare

Macbeth has a strong use of literary devices in which lead to strong character development. It teaches that unchecked violence will lead to the death of the ones who started it. This is a great study of humans flaw since Macbeth decides to become king. With the easy to understand plot.
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