For avid fans of literature, no matter the book, there are requirements needed if one can truly call themselves an advanced reader. After all, those who have not met the necessary prerequisites have a literary intellect tantamount to a 5th grade reading level.

Thus, being the benevolent opinion columnist that I am, I will grace any reader of this editorial with a handful of the prerequisites needed for being a well-rounded student of the classics.

First and foremost, when wanting to become an educated reader, one must know about the complex relationship amongst economies, nutrition, and food security. How is one supposed to know about the significance of pigs in a blanket to “The Great Gatsby’s” themes without knowledge of nutritional anthropology?

Furthermore, it is impossible to fully connect with the struggles of Sydney Carton as he wonders the streets of Paris in “A Tale of Two Cities”without an in-depth knowledge of the history of urban development.

When it comes to understanding the importance of love and relationships in books like “The Scarlett Letter,” one needs a background in Greco-Roman marriage and family as it provides indispensable insight into what the ideal love relationship is.

Next, to appreciate the noblewoman of classics like Homer’s “The Iliad” and their effect on heroes such as Hector, one must have studied extensively princesses and brides.

By having prior knowledge of socially held health beliefs, one can truly delve into the thematic objectives that John Steinbeck reveals in stating that Grampa Joad dies of a stroke in “The Grapes of Wrath.”

In order to completely comprehend the effect that leaders in classical literature, like Henry V from Shakespeare’s play of the same name, had on their audiences, one also needs to know how current day leaders utilize social media to communicate to their own audiences.

With an in-depth understanding of the purpose and history of education, an acceptable analysis of Victor Frankenstein’s struggles with his mental superiority in Mary Shelley’s critically acclaimed novel “Frankenstein” can be created.

Also, Because of Mark Twain’s trip to Hawaii in 1866, it is important to understand the history of Pacific, tropical islands in order to fully comprehend the nuances sporadically littered throughout his novels.

In order to appreciate the mental and social disasters that befell the boys in “Lord of the Flies,” it is required that one has an elaborate and complete knowledge of the history of catastrophic natural disasters.

Lastly, without knowledge of Irish violence and terrorism from 1968 to 1998, how is one supposed to contrast the different historical contexts between Ireland and Airstrip One, the reimagined Great Britain of George Orwell’s “1984.”

Hence, without knowledge of these subjects as a prerequisite for literary observance, one cannot seriously consider themselves an educated reader.


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