“Disliking Books” is excerpted from the book “Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education” published in 1993. Graff wrote this article to make teachers aware of the difficult experience of growing up from a non-bookish person, even afraid of serious literary to an intellectual person. The article encourages teachers help students read critics. Students can benefit from critics become literary people and enjoy reading literature. Gerald Graff came from a Jewish middle-class family. His father was an intellectual person. Mr. Graff was disappointed because his son didn’t read literature. Graff knows what it is like to not understand literary works. While most people think reading comments from critics will contaminate the article because students may read with prejudice and not be able to think about article itself. In his article “Disliking Books”, Gerald Graff argues that reading critics will help shape their mind to a literary sensibility. In Graff’s personal experience, critics didn’t ruin the excitement of literature. Instead, critics inspired him to think more deeply about the book and relate it to modern life. In college, he fought for his degree and read some books. Deep-down he felt these books were boring and tasteless. Gerald Graff had no interest in serious books before he got to college. But everything changed. When he read “The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and the critics’ debate about the end of the novel, his interest was awakened, he reread this novel with surprise and passion. One of the critics implied Twain was cheating at the end of book. Graff thought cheating was a thing that usually happened to students; he never thought a famous author would make a mistake that even undergraduate students could demonstrate. Through this experience, he found the critics’ debate at the end novel was quite interesting. He became one of the critics, attended...
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