Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Steerpike, Jan 3, 2009.
Which literary works have proven to "stand the test of time" and what makes them timeless?
Definitely "To Kill a Mockingbird"
I read this in freshman english class and I think it's timeless because it's such a good example of that time period, not to mention all the literary terms in it.
Why would it being "such a good example of that time period" make it timeless?
There is a lot of very good literature, but much of it is not exactly "timeless" ... but what jumps to mind is much of Shakespeare's work.
Think for example of "Romeo and Juliet". The main idea of a couple in love, while this love is not accepted by society, is really timeless. There have always been reasons why society wouldn't tolerate a love between certain partners. That's why this topic has been re-adapted time and again in arts ... there are thousands of books or plays about such an unaccepted love, i.e. because of class barriers. A 20th century example would be the musical "The West Side Story", for example. Today, you could still re-adapt the story for homosexual lovers in a homophobe society, for example.
Romeo and Juliet's love for each other was not "not accepted by society," it was not accepted by their families. There was feud between the Capulets and the Montagues. Socially, they were compatible, "both alike in dignity." Given that this is the case, why would "Romeo and Juliet" be timeless?
I'd say it's because the tale of Romeo and Juliet is one of the original love stories, it shows that love can conquer boundaries even those forged in blood. It has a way of telling the world, "Don't let love pass you by for petty reasons" and places love at a very high level.
Not to mention, it was created by one of the most intelligent minds in English literature of all time, a man who to this day is the source of countless cliches and let's face it, he made most of the cliches we use today!
By all means, you are a bloody nitpicker. :lol:
Given clan wars were a constituting aspect of their society, it was "society" in the broadest sense that did not tolerate their love. And the motive of a love that is wanted by both lovers, but not tolerated by people around them which constitute "society" is indeed timeless, by all means.
Even today, many lovers will be able to identify with Romeo and Juliet, be it because their parents do not tolerate this love, their friends, or, in case of homosexuals, a homophobe environment in general. That most unaccepted lovers today are not threatened with a blood feud, but milder forms of social punishment, doesn't mean the motive of the story doesn't apply, IMHO.
Romeo and Juliet did end up dead at the end of the play.
If William Shakespeare is regarded as "one of the most intelligent minds in English literature of all time" because of what he wrote, then what is it about what he wrote that supports that conclusion?
What other examples are there of timeless literature?
What about Friar Lawrence being willing to marry the young couple as a means of sealing the breach between the two families?
I'd say Catcher In the Rye. Its something that pretty much anyone can identify with at any point in their life.
What about it makes it, "something that pretty much anyone can identify with at any point in their life?"
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