Young Adult Literature and The New “Classic”
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice, 1984, and The Great Gatsby are among the group of books privileged enough to be considered “classic works of literature”. And if you caught the Pride and Prejudice reference I just made, congratulations, because you’re among those who have read some of the aforementioned classics.
However wonderful these classics are, the fact remains that they are being replaced by more contemporary works of literature, the likes of which people generally find easier to digest than older works that tend to use more flowery prose than readers in the 21st century are used to. The definition of classic literature is quickly changing, even though the original classics will have a special place in our hearts. But it seems that most of our generation’s classic literature can be found on the shelves of the adult section in the local bookstore. Adult literature is not budging from its spot in our lives, and it takes the spotlight from other genres of books that are just as deserving of praise.
Some people would say that a good work of fiction involves some struggle of morality, between good and evil, interesting characters, a foreign concept, or a different world altogether. Even more people, upon hearing this, would promptly list off whatever fantastically complex book they read in their Grade 10 English class.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the Harry Potter series.
The Harry Potter books have captivated audiences all over the world since 1997, with the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The franchise has gone on to become the highest-grossing franchise of all time, and spawned a huge fanbase, the likes of which had not been seen since the Lord of the Rings fanbase. The scale of the phenomenon is unbelievable; look anywhere and you will see Quidditch teams, Harry Potter conventions and the addition of the word ‘muggle’ to the Oxford...
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