What makes great literature? This question has been asked by people for ages. What makes a book good? No one has one definition for this. Everyone has their own opinion. Every person does not like the same books. Great literature has many aspects that separate it from other books.
I think that great literature must teach the reader, capture a reader’s attention, and change the reader. Fables are known to convey a lesson. In the same way, I believe that all great literature should convey a message to readers. This message does not only have to be a moral, but it can be any lesson. If you think about the greatest books written, they all teach the readers something by the end of the book. The lessons learned from books are priceless. Great literature should keep the reader interested in the book. Without keeping the reader interested, authors would not be able to express a story to readers. Any reader that isn’t able to stay interested in the book is most likely not going to take away much information from that book. Great literature should also change the reader. The themes presented in a great book should be able to change the reader in a certain way. Whether it be a new understanding or a new perspective, great literature should make an effect on the reader. By provoking emotions in readers, authors are able to change the emotions and thoughts of the readers. When a book has changed someone, it shows that the book is able to portray a story in a thought-provoking and descriptive way. People always remember the books that made a difference in their lives. Great literature should always teach, capture, and change readers.
This year some of the books I have read include A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Dune, and Unbroken. Each of these books was on the class reading list or the core selection list. I believe that some of these books deserve to be included as great literature while others should not. This is based on the requirements I have found. All three of these books teach the readers a lesson. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn teaches readers about the importance of hard work. Dune explains to readers how duty is important. And Unbroken teaches readers that not all wounds are permanent. All three books were not captivating for me. While A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Unbroken were intriguing books, I found that Dune was not an interesting book. While it has many interesting moments, the overuse of objects specialized to the world of the book with no introductions made the book very difficult to comprehend. All three of these books also are able to change readers. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn made a big impact on me. By showing the story of a poor family rising from their beginnings, I was inspired by the tough choices the characters had to make. The sacrifices Francie makes for her family was motivational. Dune also had a universal theme that changes readers. This book was able to show how destiny does not decide fate. Unbroken was able to change me through the story of a soldier in WWII. The struggle that the protagonist faces in POW camps made me feel grateful for the service done by soldiers. Overall all three were great books, but only Unbroken and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn can be called great literature.
For the final reading log, I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This book was published on August 16, 2011. The book takes place in the future where everyone in the world is addicted to a virtual reality game world called the OASIS. The game was created by a billionaire who after his death hid his wealth in the game. The protagonist, Wade Watts, is poor, and he spends all of his time in the OASIS. After uncovering the first key in the puzzle, Wade is able to get enough money to move out of his abusive aunt’s home. Competing with fellow players and IOI, an evil conglomerate corporation, Wade hides in a room for months, dedicated to finding the hidden money. Wade finds himself falling in love with a fellow player, Art3mis, even though he has never met her in real life. When he confesses his love to her, she rejects him and tells him to focus on his own goals. Wade realizes that he is falling behind. He finds himself unable to keep up with IOI as their workers are equipped with infinite amounts of tools and knowledge. To get ahead in the game, he sells himself into slavery to IOI and hacks their systems from inside. He runs away and meets some of the players he has met with. After meeting Art3mis, Wade tells her that he still loves her even though she is deformed, and they decide to work together. With the other players, they fight IOI, and IOI drops a bomb killing everyone in the game. Wade realizes that he has an extra life and is able to uncover the fortune, defeating IOI and saving the game from corporate greed.
Ready Player One should be added to the class reading list. All of the aspects of great literature can be found in this book. The book teaches readers how knowledge is power. The book also is captivating and uses suspense to hold the reader’s attention. Throughout the book, the author shows how people can overcome powerful people and companies. This theme gives readers the hope to never give up when they are faced with powerful opposition. I think that this book is not on the same level as books like To Kill a Mockingbird as it is not a timeless piece, but I still believe it should be part of the class reading list. The book is able to portray the struggle of the common man versus the powerful men in a setting which is relatable to many kids. I would recommend that my friends read this book for its comedy and deep message, but I do not think that my parents and teachers would enjoy this book very much. The comedy in the book may appear vulgar and boring to them. I have not read another book by this author, so I do not know how this book compares to the others.
Great literature has certain characteristics that separates it from other books. These characteristics determine the quality of the book. The impact great literature makes on our lives may seem small, but it can be very impactful. Books can make a large impact on our lives though we may never realize it. Literature is an important part of our lives, and it is great literature that makes a difference in our thoughts and feelings.