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What Makes A Book "classic?"

Pre-Ap English II essay

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#1 Ronster

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 01:09 AM

This is just one of my essays for my english class.
Oh, and this is the reason I have no time; crap like this eats all my time.

Just let me know what you think.

Here goes:


How to describe a classic book… Well, classic can mean anything from basic or fundamental to traditional to the first or highest quality. A classic book can be all the definitions or it could be just one. To search our minds for the right definitions would be an endless journey. A journey to the infinitive of a mind so deep as to our quest for knowledge is one so great. So, in order to understand what makes a book a classic, you have to first ask yourself why. Why would a book become a classic? Is it because of the way the author wrote the book or is it the story the author has created? Is it the characters or is it the hidden themes behind cover? The answer to this question is yes.

If the characters weren't unique then what would make them memorable? A memorable character is one of the four main keys that unlock the cover of a classic book. They could be described as the color of the bird's tail feather that makes that particular bird stand out among the rest. If a bird was bright red, then it would most likely catch your attention faster than the brown finch hidden among the leaves. Every good author has seen that red bird and squeezed some of that color into many different unique characteristics that make the character one of its kind. But, the character can't just be bright without a bit of the brown finch inside. It's that brown finch we see in all characters that allow us to better connect with the character; to see a bit of ourselves in that new multi-colored bird the author has given birth to.

An author is an artist; his pencil a paintbrush; and his mind a pool of many different paints from which to pick and choose. To look at a book, is to look at a painting. It's the artist job to choose the right colors of which to paint his masterpiece. Not just one and not too many. His style has to be one of unique prowess, mimicked to none but that of true art in bounded form. To paint a picture with only one color leads to an uninteresting piece of art; the true potential of many colors hidden among the one boring color. The artist whose painting is the most unique and clever is the trophy on the mantle, able to create a beautifully written work of art with many colors that form to perfection on paper's medium.

To experience life is to understand it. To understand life is to understand people. To understand people's lives, is an author. An author has to know, has to understand. One cannot write about something he does not know about, therefore he cannot write about something he has yet to experience, because to experience is to know. But what is to learn? To learn is to gain. For an author to gain knowledge of understanding is to learn. Learning is writing. For an author to write a story, he has to know, to have learned, to have experienced, and to now understand. To write a story that connects with the reader. To write a story he understands.

A truth is conformity with fact or an actual state of a matter. It is existence; nothing more than life distilled to a pure, clear ring of truth. An author is aware of such truths and is able to insert them in his writing for the reader to better connect with the story. A good author can inject his story with a certain truth, an unforgettable truth, as ageless as time itself. Whether the story be told in the Paleolithic past or the fantastic future, its truths and themes will still have the potent power to captivate. Thus meaning that for a book to be ageless, its truths have to be ageless.

As you may have noticed, a key word here is "connect." This single word just so happens to be the on word capable of summing up what makes a classic work of art. The voyage of which has been broadened to a better state of understanding.

To be classic is to connect.
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QUOTE(baghead @ Oct 25 2006, 09:55 AM) View Post
Ronster reminded me that I should have warned you all Prepare your Bladder for Imminent Release!!!!

#2 Substance Abuse

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 01:16 AM

Very well written Avec. I like the way you state and prove your thesis statement.

Fantastic work. A+.
QUOTE(Brass @ Jul 6 2007, 10:30 PM) View Post

QUOTE(keef @ Jul 6 2007, 09:29 PM) View Post

Yeah, I'm in the same case as Substance Abuse...
Brass, ask your mother.

She said your dad owes her three dollars.

#3 SPU-Nerf

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 02:49 AM

Defination of a "Classic" english book = People die and there is a struggle, strife and/or other drama about a persons crappy life. Book ends in a downer, and must be thick enough to stop a bullet.
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#4 Rambo

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 04:08 AM

To follow Substance, I give it an A-. I, personally, hate using, and pieces(essays, not novels) that use questions. The writing overall, great, incredible, but I still say A-. You seem to have an aptitude for writing. I do not know how long you spent on this, but irregardless, you seem to have an aptitude for writing.

" Defination of a "Classic" english book = People die and there is a struggle, strife and/or other drama about a persons crappy life. Book ends in a downer, and must be thick enough to stop a bullet."

In my opinion, that is probably the least true statement to describe a classic. Sure, a lot fall into those peramers, but damn far from all. No all Sherlock Holmes ended in a "downer". Candide?

Bottom line, not all classics fall into that group.

A classic is a work that stands the test of time. Shakespeare, Voltaire, Steinbeck, etc. Doesn't matter what kind of piece. Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies, everything are all classics. Doesn't matter how they end or even how thick they are. Dante's Inferno is fucking thick, and yeah it's a classic, but Of Mice and Men isn't thick at all.

Edit: Sorry if I sound like I'm rambling or non coherent. Still a bit drunk.

Edited by RAMBO, 02 December 2006 - 04:09 AM.

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#5 SPU-Nerf

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 04:39 AM

I was making a joke. But your are drunk so no worries mate.
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#6 Evil

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 12:27 PM

Easy to read and fairly well paced, congratulations on a wonderful effort. The only adjustment I might suggest would be for you to revise your paper in such a way that the language selected is less melodramatic. The first paragraph in particular sounds as though you are analyzing the critical trends of nuclear war, as opposed to the world's most recognized and beloved texts.

Also, depending on the length allowed for your essay, you might want to exploit some literary history. Plenty of books which we deem "classic" and belong to so many school curriculums today were considered complete trash upon their publication generations or centuries ago.

---

I've spent the last 3 years of my college career researching, writing and studying history. I have limited experience writing literature papers, but I hope some of these suggestions help. Even if they don't help with this paper, maybe they could help you next time.

I must admit, my only serious, research intensive and carefully articulated literature paper dealt with the content of the early Batman comic book series. I wrote a paper contrasting the story elements of the Batman series with the consistent themes of cowboy literature.
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#7 Ronster

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 02:09 PM

To follow Substance, I give it an A-. I, personally, hate using, and pieces(essays, not novels) that use questions.


Yeah, turns out my teacher doesn't really like questions either, but I like to make the reader think.
I usually don't use questions that much, but I thought it fit this paper well.
Oh well.


I must admit, my only serious, research intensive and carefully articulated literature paper dealt with the content of the early Batman comic book series. I wrote a paper contrasting the story elements of the Batman series with the consistent themes of cowboy literature.


Batman's always an excellent way to go! He owns!
Actually, I wrote a poem on Batman's origins a couple years back. It was sweet! If you want me to post up that one I could.

This paper actually only took me about 2 hours to write. Not bad.
Turns out that all my good works coem from when I'm either deprived of sleep, or when it's extremely last minute. Haha.

Thanks for all your comments and such, I really appreciate them!
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QUOTE(baghead @ Oct 25 2006, 09:55 AM) View Post
Ronster reminded me that I should have warned you all Prepare your Bladder for Imminent Release!!!!

#8 Rambo

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 04:08 PM

I've noticed better writing with lack of sleep too.

When I'm reading, I constantly ask myself questions, but I just don't like them in the text.
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#9 SHADOW HUNTER ALPHA

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 05:27 PM

Damn fine job, Ronster. I wish I could write essays like that. For some reason I can piece together 18-page fictional stories, but all of my research papers and analytical essays always turn out like crap no matter how awake or asleep I am.

P.S.: I am kind of indifferent on the questions-in-an-essay subject, but you seem to write well using them.
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#10 Evil

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 07:21 PM

There is a reason you stay away from utilizing questions in your essay. It comes off as cliched and makes one appear to be an amateur. You've got a solid start here and you should hold onto this essay. Read it years from now when you've established a true style of your own and it will be humbling to see how rough your style was. ^_^

Edited by Evil, 03 December 2006 - 07:22 PM.

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#11 elf avec gun

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 08:21 PM

I agree with the sleep deprived thing. For me there is a point in the morning (usually occurs at about 12:30ish AM) when I start to see everything with greater clarity/understanding. Everything just makes sense.
Another thing that might factor into this is stress. I have found that if I fuel my stress into something I often come out with amazing results. Actors often use this, as do musicians and book writers.
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