Do kids still have to read Brave New World and 1984 in high school, and if so, why?
"Do kids still have to read Brave New World and 1984 in high school, and if so, why?"
I'm not aware that they have to in all schools or even in all classes in any particular school. I think it may be a requirement for some English Literature classes, though.
I made it through school without having read them. I had to read Julius Caesar, Silas Marner, and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, though...
I also 'had' to read Mien Kampf, but it was an elective. That is to say, I had to read one of a selected number of books, and Mien Kampf was one of the selections.
My kids had to read 1984 I believe.
We also used to have to do book reports on books. Some had mastered the art of doing the book report without actually reading the book.
One of the best, though I think was the report that went something along the lines of this:
This is my report on the book 'Mein Kampf'.
I found the book to be rather heavy, weighing in at over 2 pounds. At first glance, it looked like difficult reading, so I did not read it.
The book measures 8 1/2" x 6" x slightly more than 2" thick. The hard cover is black with the title in the upper left-hand corner, along with the author. You've probably heard of the author, Adolph Hitler. He figured prominently in a recent war, but he's dead now.
There is a glossy slip-cover on the book, which is also black witht the title and the author's name in the upper left-hand corner. The title is in red, and the author's name in white. This is the same color-scheme used on the hard cover.
The hard cover has worn and become bent at the lower right-hand corner and a little less so at the upper right-hand corner. The slip cover is torn slightly at the lower right-hand corner. The slip-cover does not stay on the book well when it is open. It is in much better shape than the book, which leads me to believe most people lay the cover aside while they read the book, if they read the book at all, which I didn't.
The back cover, which is blank, has been indented by someone using the book as a desk while writing something. I laid a piece of paper atop it rubbed the edge of a pencil across the paper to read what was written. The writing said:
There were also some scribbles where they must have scratched something out. I called the number, 8-3456, and asked for Rhonda (guessing that they 'u' was supposed to be an 'a', but I was told that wasn't her number anymore. I asked for her last name, but was told they didn't know what it was. I thumbed through the book looking for clues as to who Rhonda might have been and why here number was written by someone using the book as a desk, but I couldn't find anything else.
The pages are of a heavy paper, and are kind of coarse. They are also frayed at the edges, as if it was a cheap book. I looked on the slip cover and saw that the price was $15, but it was $20 if you bought it in Canada. I wondered why anyone would go to Canada to buy a copy of the book, when they could buy it cheaper at home.
There weren't any pictures in the book except for a picture in the front, with a signature under it. I guessed it was Adolph Hitler's picture, since he was in a uniform. He had a little moustache, like Charlie Chaplin. The picture was not in color, but it was kind of greenish instead of being in black and white, like the rest of the book.
The book is divided into chapters. Each chapter starts on a new page, and there is a little description under the chapter number telling what the chapter was about. I read them all. I was going to write the book report by just writing down each one of those, but my brother said he did that two years ago, and that you'd catch on to it, so I didn't try it.
The page numbers were in the top corner. Some of the pages had been bent down to mark the pages, and were cracked when they were flattened back out. Page 361 was missing the corner where it had been folded down. I thought it had been cut off with scissors, but I folded the page 363, folding it back and forth a few times until it broke off, too. It only took about four times to make it break off. I think it was a cheap book. I have a book at home that has glossy pages. I've folded them back and forth lots of times and they still haven't broke off.
There is a story about Adolph Hitler on the back flap inside the slip cover. It tells a lot about him, so that you don't have to read the book if you want to know anything about him, you just have to look at the flap. I could have done a whole book report just using the stuff on the inside flap, but my brother said you had caught onto that, too. He said he did it a few times, and you figured it out about half of them. He said you didn't know he did it with War and Peace, and you gave him an 'A' and said it was good that he tried to read something hard. He still laughs about that.
I read a number of books in high school, but suffered though one "The House of Seven Gables." And I mean suffered because it was required reading in our American Literature class. Most of the other books I just quietly read and kept to myself.
Among other books, my Grandmother insisted I read "The Book of Common Prayer" on a daily basis! Consequently, I learned the General Confession by heart. You didn't know my Grandmother. She was not to be denied.
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