Originally Posted by QuantumIguana
If the goal for a particular literature class is to examine the cultural influence of literature, there are many books that could be selected. I'd say that to really examine the cultural impact of literature, it would be a good idea to cover multiple books than to cover just one in depth. And not all of the books that have influenced culture are what most people would consider great literature.
For American's, in that case, Twain would be a much more likely candidate. And his works (Tom Sawyer and the like) are often included in lists, although I was not required to read them. I did read them years later and was stunned that something like that wasn't chosen over Shakespeare.
Yes, it's somewhat nice to know where quotes originated or where ideas and styles came from, but for teaching, I think there needs to be a balance so that kids have a chance to experience different writing styles. If historical perspective is so important, well then different books would only add to that.
Antykatkat makes some VERY valid points about being able to "reference" the stories and language. I hadn't though of it that way before and it's quite revealing. I appreciated the new perspective and agree with it.
Oh and NameKuseijin--don't be so certain we aren't of the same generation. Just because some of my books involve 20 something characters does not mean I am 20. Far from that age in fact.
Perhaps a bit closer to the lady in Sage.
Your comment also made me a little more aware of when I throw out that old phrase, "Kids today..." Because hmm. I might not always be right about that either!