What Caused Me to Love Classical Literature?

Well, as some may know that this summer I am reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. But what exactly is about the classics that makes me love them so much. I feel like part of the answer starts from how I was raised.

Well, I was raised watching A Christmas Carol every Christmas Break. So I was already exposed to at least one classic as a child. I learned to fall in love with the story early on so I think that is a big reason why I love the classics now.

But I honestly think a big reason why I love the classics might mostly have to do with Les Misérables. Yes, this list is talking about classical literature, but it is important to talk about the musical of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Well, in December of 2012 my parents took me to the movie adaptation and little did I know that the musical was about to really change and impact my life in such a positive way.  The first time I saw the movie, I had no clue how to respond. I was confused and shocked when I realized it was a tragedy, which was figured out after the first death. As a result, I did not how to respond so due to that I had no clue if I liked the movie or not.

Despite that, I still started researching information about Victor Hugo and the musical. I soon decided that I just had to see the movie a second time. That was how I realized there was something special about the tragedy. I really wanted to know why it uplifts me in such a positive way despite all of the heartbreak I just felt. So I dug even deeper into the musical. I realized that it was a story of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption.

images-2

So I eventually decided that I just had to read the novel. I started with the abridged version. I enjoyed it that round, but felt like something was absolutely missing.  So I told myself that I needed to read the book again, but in the unabridged version. So when I read the unabridged version summer of 2015, I read the unabridged version and I did not skip over anything. The book truly felt like a masterpiece and the spirituality of the story was clearly shown. If it wasn’t for the spirituality of the story, I feel like I would be sick and tried of it by now. What was helpful in reading this book was my knowledge of the musical. Due to that, I could mark up major character and write in songs.

Due to loving Les Mis, my dad recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. So Les Mis led me to having the interest to read another classic. I read it and really enjoyed it. It was confusing at times because it was hard to tell if you were in France or in England. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t think of the reason why. It takes place during the French Revolution, which happens right before the events before Les Mis.

IMG_1202

Since Les Mis led to Tale of Two Cities, it also in a way led to Great Expectation. Because I learned to love Tale of Two Cities, the second Dickens story I fell in love with, I was recommended to read Great Expectations. I loved the character of Pip in Great Expectations and never could understand why I loved him. So Les Mis was essential to my love of the classics. If it wasn’t for Les Mis, I wouldn’t have wanted to read other Dickens books. I read Great Expectations Christmas of 2016. I wanted to review it on this blog, but couldn’t figure out why I enjoyed that book. The last Dickens book I was recommend is Nicholas Nickleby.

My dad also recommend me to check out Don Quixote. Les Mis did not lead me to Don Quixote, but led me to wanting to explore other classics. For a Spanish project at school, I choose Don Quixote to research since my dad recommended it to me. The moment I saw that Don Quixote was a tragicomic character, I knew I had to read the book. I loved the story of the knight errant righting all wrongs and the relationship to his squire. Well the school project did lead me to watching Man of La Mancha, the musical based off of Don Quixote. I actually read the book Summer of 2016 and I actually found it harder to read than Les Mis even though it was much shorter. That is due to hardly knowing Don Quixote at the time.

Now I am currently reading Oliver Twist, which I started last Saturday. I currently read close to 200 pages. I am loving the book as a matter of fact. I am especially fond of the character of Oliver. Last Christmas, I was going to read what classic I got. I asked for Oliver Twist or Hunchback of Notre Dame. What book I got would be the book I would read this summer and the other one would wait until Christmas. Dickens and Hugo have incredible parallels in their storylines, which I will talk about in another upcoming post of mine. After I finish Oliver Twist if I can come up with enough reasons why I loved it, I will review it.

So in a nutshell, A Christmas Carol did in a way shape my love for the classics since it was the first one I was exposed to. But Les Mis really brought out my love for the classics. I feel like I love the classics due to how challenging they are. All of them also seem to be well written. I read the classics in between semesters because I am able to find time to read them and focus on them. I feel like I might need to read some of the classics one more time, but in a longer amount of time. Les Mis and Christmas Carol were essential to falling in love with the classics.

What are your feelings on the classics?

Advertisements

Classic Book Challenge

This week was finals week and I got to go back to my hometown yesterday. Today starts the beginning of summer break. Every summer break, I enjoyed spending time with my family.

I like to read as well. In between semesters, I always do a challenge with books that are classic. I attempt to start and finish them by the end of the semester. This summer break’s book is Oliver Twist. Some of the classic books I read were books that were recommended by others and some were not.

The ones that were never recommended were Les Misérables and Oliver Twist. I actually read the entire Les Misérables in less than one summer. It was my love for the musical that gave me the courage to read the unabridged book. I honestly have no idea what made me decide to read Oliver Twist at some point. I think it might have something to do with Les Misérables because the musical of Oliver inspired the lyricist to make a musical of the book.

IMG_1202

My dad recommend Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities due to my love for Les Mis because the book takes place during the French Revolution and that event happened before the events in Les Mis took place. He even knew that I should read Great Expectations as well because I love Charles Dickens. My dad told me some about Don Quixote and I think he told me about the nature of him being a knight errant and told me about his squire, Sancho Panza. I eventually did a project in school about Don Quixote and was fascinated in reading the book after discovering that Don quixote is a tragicomic character, a type of character I never discovered before.

So why do I attempt to read the classics in a short period of time? Well during the school year, it is too hard to read a classic due to how challenging they are. So the only time I can actually read them is in between semesters. Also giving me a goal of when to finish them gives the motivation to continue reading. Look at Don Quixote and Les Misérables: they were the longest classics I read and finished them in one summer. There are days while reading these classics that made it much harder to read them.

So this summer’s challenge belongs to Oliver Twist.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final/”>Final

Being Challenged at College and Life

The word test reminds me of two things. It reminded of the life of being a college student and life.

College is one of the best and challenging parts of your life. Assignments can get pretty confusing. You need to learn how to navigate college life. You need to be able to learn time management skills and independence. Classes are much more detailed and complex then you think they are. Studying for tests can be quite annoying at times, but is worth it in the end. Tests are something I do not like about college, but I don’t study at the last minute. You do learn other valuable skills that will be important later on. You discover more about who you are, which allows you to be more open about yourself. You find a place to develop both spiritually and emotionally. You sometimes learn leadership skills, which will be very useful in the work place.

One of the things that happens at college is that you are constantly being tested. You are constantly being challenged. Sometimes you feel like your own faith is being challenged when you start hearing other people’s opinions about the bible and the meaning of faith. Sometimes you need to go outside of your comfort zone to have the best college experience possible. College allows you to have a bigger comfort zone. Sometimes when you are being challenged, it can be quite hurtful, but don’t let that get in the way of your college experience. Use the challenges you face as a teaching tool. The challenges can be so simple, but feel so difficult. Being challenged exists in both the academics and your peers. The academics pushes you to do your best. That can get extremely stressful, but the trick is to know how to deal with stress along with your emotions. Trusting in God actually makes college life even more enjoyable. He helps me make it through days that are very challenging like the day of a test or finals week or something like that. College takes a lot of strength and courage at times. Take advantage of the experiences you have and have the best college experience possible.

All of this prepares you for the future. Even past college, you are constantly being tested. I may still be in college, but I know that life is full of many hurdles. Some will be harder then others, but what matters is how you choose to handle them. There are times in college when things seem impossible like that assignment you are not looking forward to. Life is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to challenge you and that is what makes you be the best you can be. Try to stay on the right path, which is the path of God. Never try to let the devil control you or your destiny. When times get dark, look towards the light. I am always hopeful and know that there is light in the midst of a broken society. Humanity is not completely lost.

Test

Hiking to the Pinnacle

What is so uplifting and spiritual about hiking?

I have always been a fan of hiking and being out in nature. Today I spent time with my family hiking the Pinnacle Trail at Crowders’ Mountain. Going up is always so tough no matter what trail. But the view at the top is so worth it. You can truly see and hear God’s creation. Even hiking up has its spiritual benefits.

IMG_1042

I feel as if hiking is good for the soul. It makes you forget about the brokenness of society. Whenever you feel a breeze or hear a small sound, then you know that God is helping you develop your spirituality and that He will never give up on you. This trail was filled with many difficult places. There were places where you had to climb over rocks and deal with a lot of steepness. I even saw some wildlife as well. I saw a toad along with a small lizard.

IMG_1049

The view at the very top is the best part about hiking. You can just relax and listen. When you look out, you feel like creation is endless. You can see beyond what you can see. The effect of the clouds along with the trees creates that feeling. I have always been a mountain person. There is just something so peaceful about them. It feels like you are always surrounded by God’s creation.