Italo Calvino stated in his essay, “The Literature Machine”, that “A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” Perhaps he is saying that after a reader finishes a “classic”, they are left to make their own assumptions about what it means. This can be seen in almost all books that are considered to be “classics”. In William Golding's novel, “The Lord of the Flies”, the book appears to be about a group of school boys who get stranded on a remote island. Yet, when one takes a further look into the book, they can see many symbols and themes. The themes of what each of the groups represent. Ralph’s group is representing Civilization whilst Jack’s group is representing Savagery. This theme, Civilization vs. Savagery, can be somewhat easily seen. One of the less noticeable symbols in the book are the Signal Fire representing Ralph’s group’s connection to civilization, this connection can be seen to fade as the book progresses. The reader would not be able to see this connection had this book actually been about boys on an island. Yet, this classic book has plenty more to say.
This quote can also be represented in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, by Harper Lee. This book has absolutely nothing to do with a Mockingbird, yet it is one of the most well known “classic” books because high school students over many years have read this book and written an essay on it. That must declare a “classic”. In the book, Atticus, a lawyer, is defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. During the trial, there is a coloured balcony where all coloured people sit. These two things alone make it apparent how little an issue racism was in those times. Something that this book has to say is that the “mockingbird” in “To Kill a Mockingbird” represents all of the innocent people who were wrongfully accused in the book. When the black man in the trial gets shot, it can be compared to killing a mockingbird because all mockingbirds do is sing,...
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