There are many reasons to read old stories, just as there are teachers. Sometimes, old stories can be quite bizarre. These stories can be a strange reflection of beliefs, values, and ways of living that may not be obvious to the reader. I am an English professor and believe stories from centuries or decades ago are valuable.
To help students understand the past and learn more about the present, teachers encourage them to read old stories with their students. Old stories are also a great way to build empathy, strengthen the brains of students, and provide fun, true, funny, or delightful stories.
The Old Past And The Present Are Connected
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is an example of teenagers speaking a language almost unintelligible to modern readers. They engage in duels. They are married. This might be a very different scenario from today. Yet, Romeo and Juliet fall for each other and cause their parents to be mad, much like so many teenagers today. They end up committing suicide, which is something far too many teenagers do. Shakespeare’s play might be more relevant than you think.
Many modern stories are also based on older stories. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, a story by Charlotte Bronte, has been featured in many novels since 1848. There are even entire chapters and articles about its importance and influence. I was able to find references to Jane Eyre in The Princess Diaries, Twilight, and many other novels. Reading the old story can enhance the experience of the novel.
Empathy And Brain Old Building
Maryanne Wolf, a reading specialist, writes about the special vocabulary found in books that does not appear in spoken language in Proust and the Squid. This vocabulary is an important part of what helps to build brains. Older books may also have a difficult sentence structure. Take the opening to almost every fairy tale. Once upon an time, in very far-off countries, there lived.
Although we all would never speak in that way, older stories have different words, which can make the brain work harder. This type of exercise increases brain capacity. Stories make us feel. Stories teach empathy. They are scared to see Harry Potter in danger. They get excited when Harry learns to fly. And they feel happy and relieved when Harry defeats Voldemort. By exposing the reader to a wide range of experiences, older stories can offer rich depth of feeling. Similar effects can be achieved by stories featuring characters from diverse backgrounds and set in unfamiliar locations.
Reading Can Be Fun
Sometimes old stories can be so bizarre that you just have to enjoy them. Or, I don’t know why. Charles Dickens Great Expectations has a character named Pumblechook. Can this be said without smiling? Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland depicts a cat that disappears slowly, leaving behind only its smile. New stories can be fun as well, but older stories might still have some fun.
One example is that the cat appears in many stories that aren’t related to Alice in Wonderland. Knowing more about the cat’s past can make it easier to read that story. While I don’t deny the fact that there are stories that contain offensive language and reflect attitudes we might not wish to embrace, it is true that there are some stories that have been passed down through generations. Even those stories can help readers think critically.
Every story is not good. But if your teacher asks you for one to read, think about the possibilities that you could grow your brain, your emotions, or just have some fun. It’s worth at least a chance.