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Unbroken's avatar

What are key characteristics that makes a book a classic?

Asked by Unbroken (10274 points ) November 28th, 2012

What are the criteria for giving the status Classic to book titles? Has the criteria changed over time?
What are some books on the Classic list you don’t agree with?

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8 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Apparently Lord of the Flies is a classic, considering that it was required reading in public and private schools when I was a kid. But I consider it pure two-week-old garbage. I never found it in anyway enlightening or educational, etc. And if you’re depressed as I was when I was required to read it, well, it’s worse than two-week-old garbage.

But considering what is now required reading, I suppose Lord of the Flies is tame…Still, I hate it.

wundayatta's avatar

My son is reading that now. He is 12. He is not enjoying it, and finds it confusing.

marinelife's avatar

Universal theme that appeals to all humanity or that all humanity can relate to.

Timelessness.

Memorable characters.

stardust's avatar

Agree with the above re timelessness and universal themes. Questions of morality usually feature. The quality of writing plays a huge part in determining a classic novel.

Unbroken's avatar

@snowberry and @wundayatta I loved Lord of the Flies. I ate it up. Of course I was a very depressed child at the time. Lol oh well.

@marinelife and @stardust I agree but I heard someone positing that Shades of Grey would be new modern lit and that really upset me. I am wondering if the quality is dropping or if I am just a stick in the mud. Perhaps classic is being replaced with the best seller’s list.
All I can say is I hope that they were wrong.

marinelife's avatar

@rosehips Wishful thinking on Shades of Grey by the person who posited it as literature.

Unbroken's avatar

^^ I certainly hope so.

stardust's avatar

@rosehips I haven’t read the book, but I agree about the wishful thinking. Classics stand the test of time. From what I gather, they summer hype surrounding 50 Shades of Grey has died down hugely.

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