Originally Posted by Bahmo
The Great Gatsby wasn't terribly painful for me, but it certainly didn't strike me as being at all important enough to force High Schoolers through. I still don't get what the message of that book was supposed to be.
I actually enjoyed The Great Gatsby
. The point (which I got from it) was that most people are shallow morons who only like you if you have money and give parties (not to spoil the ending, but check out how Gatsby's guests act before and after the "trigger" bit)
A book that I hate with every fiber of my being, and one whose author must have been truly sadistic, is The Call of the Wild. What the fuck?! I have always loathed "touching dog stories" because the dog usually dies in them, but this "classic" is by far the most depressing piece of shit out of all the depressing pieces of shit.
I know! In fourth grade, we read this story about a boy who lives in Alaska (or somewhere similar) with his grandfather and faithful sled dog. The grandfather falls ill and the boy has to have the dog enter into a sled race so that he can win the prize money to keep the house. Again, I don't want to ruin the ending but it was so freaking sad the teacher (who apparently hadn't read this book before) broke down crying and gave it to a student to finish reading.
Shakespeare writes incredibly well, but I dislike his style. All of his characters speak the same high-poetry sort of English, from the University Graduate in London right down to the illiterate peasant, and not only is that unrealistic, the sort of dialogue it leads to actually starts to (in my opinion) upstage the content of the actual story, and make it less immersive.
I like Shakespeare quite a bit, but I can understand why you wouldn't like him. I took a Shakespeare analysis class in 12th grade, and the teacher pointed out all of these funny little details. For example, everyone remembers the "Get thee to a nunnery" part in Hamlet
, right? Apparently in Shakespeare's time, "nunnery" actually meant "brothel". So Hamlet wasn't exactly telling Ophelia to repent and serve God there.
Most of the books we studied in high school I'd have liked, but what soured me to them was the whole talking and picking it apart and writing a stiff paper about it and generally just making it a chore.
Though it's more of a play, I hated
when we read Strindberg's Miss Julie
, which is basically about a sadomasocistic count's daughter (Miss Julie) who has sex with a servant and then the rest of the play is them bickering and fighting and trying to figure out how best to run away and hide so that the count doesn't figure out what they did. The idea of actually just staying and keeping their mouths shut occurs for all of two seconds (the servant claims that if they stayed, they'd be tempted to "do it again" until they were caught). They never actually come to any conclusions or anything.
Finally, in Religious Studies I read this ridiculous book called Sidhartha
. One chapter, I kid you not, described how Sidhartha wants to leave his father's home to visit the Buddha. When his father refuses, Sidhartha stands in the living room perfectly still. His father wakes up multiple times in the night, sees his son, "his heart was troubled" and he goes back to sleep.