What does it mean to be open-minded? In my opinion, it is giving something a chance. It means exploring something from a different perspective. Being open-minded always is worth it. I am aware it can be hard to be open-minded at times and end up with the wrong perspective. Sometimes I have been extremely close-minded to certain subjects and genres.
One of the biggest things I was so close-minded to was the genre of tragedy. In ninth grade, I discovered the genre for the very first time through Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Not only was I close-minded to tragedy, but also close-minded to Shakespeare. I automatically associated tragedies with sad and thought they were nothing more. All through high school, each time I had to read a tragedy, I ignored it and pushed it far back like it didn’t belong in theatre. I didn’t realize I was soon to learn that tragedies were way more then I thought they would be. Well, that happened in the most unexpected of ways, but glad I finally learned to love some of them.
When I went to see the movie of the musical, Les Mis, I came in not knowing what that title meant and already knew “I Dreamed a Dream”. I wasn’t even told that Les Mis was a tragedy, but glad I didn’t know or I wouldn’t have gone at all. I mainly decided to see the movie to listen to “I Dreamed a Dream”. I was quite unsure coming into the movie whether or not I would like it or not. The moment I realized Les Mis was a tragedy was after the first character died and I was so in shock. The rest of the movie I watched in shock not knowing how to respond. I was quite surprised that musicals are home to tragedies because I grew up believing that all musicals were comedies. It is true that most musicals are happy, but I learned how to call all musicals joyful.
But well if you think about it, it was so worth it not realizing Les Mis was a tragedy until I saw the movie. I decided to give the movie a second chance a couple of months after the first viewing, and this time I got way more out of it. The tragic moments were easier to handle because I already knew they were coming. That time around I started to realize there was something special about the emotional impact in Les Mis. I did want to know why this heartbreaking musical always ended in an uplifting way and decided to learn more. I realized that at its core is a story of love, hope, compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice, humanity, and redemption. From Les Mis, I learned the real value of tragedy and why the genre matters. So through Les Mis, I learned not to judge a book by its cover in terms of genre. The genre is not quite as important as the actual plot and characters.
So, try to be more open-minded. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Try to find value in things you just don’t want to give a chance. All because of Les Mis, I realized that I never should of been close-minded to tragedy in the first place. I try to see beyond the genre and figure out what it is at the very core of novels or anything else in literature. Besides Les Mis, there are other sad shows I learned to love. The others are Rent and La Bohème, but I do like West Side Story, but don’t love it.