Essay on Classics

Saksham Mathur

Saksham Mathur, age 13, is a student of class VIII at Anand Niketan International School, Ahmedabad. He is deeply interested in science and its mysteries.

Saksham loves outings to exotic places. He is very fond of playing cricket and table tennis. In his free time, Saksham likes to dabble in creativity and finer arts. He also enjoys speaking from public platforms.

Classics are books that that tend to be a lot of people’s favorites over time.

There are quite a few books that are declared as classics. Gulliver’s Travels, War of the Worlds, and Tom Sawyer are some of them. There are many others.

Gulliver's Travel
Gulliver's Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World by Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships is a 1726 prose satire by the Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift.

However, ‘classic’ is a very relative term. While the books mentioned above are liked by many, everyone has unique preferences, and therefore, their own set of classics.

Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an 1876 novel by Mark Twain about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River.

As to what makes a classic… I believe it is the plot and the general flow of the book that does so. I say this because the plot of the book is the meat of the book. The reason certain books appeal to a person and certain books don’t is because of what the book is about, or in other words, the plot, and the flow of the book. But this does not mean that everyone will like the same plot. Like I have mentioned before, everyone has unique preferences.

Some might say that they buy their books for other reasons, such as the genre. But if that were the case, they would like no book outside of their preferred genre, and every book inside of it. Of course, that is not the case. Someone may write a nursery rhyme in one’s preferred genre, that doesn’t that mean the reader will necessarily enjoy it.

These other aspects that are often mistakenly counted in the parameters that make a classic, are not parameters at all. The sole parameter is the plot.

“Well then, why are the books I consider classics all science fiction?” You may ask. What you have noticed there is a pattern, not a parameter. I call this observation a pattern because you have not included all the science fiction books you have ever read in your list of classics. Only some of them. And why have you included only some of them? That is because all the ones you have included have the best plot and story. All of it comes down to the plot.

But if that is not the case, if every science fiction book you have ever read is in your list of classics, that is simply because you have not read enough books, either to discover a science fiction book you do not like, or to discover a book of another genre that you like enough to include in your list of classics.

You may also ask me to explain what makes a plot interesting or appealing to a person. My response would be that I am far too inexperienced in the science of preferences to give an appropriate response. My best guess is that one’s preferences shift constantly, determined by their mood and experiences.

You could also argue that classics, by definition, must be liked by many people, meaning that one person cannot have their own set of classics. In that case, you would be right. But if that were the route I had chosen; I would have had no essay to write.

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