12 classic books that don't deserve their praise, sorry

pride and prejudice

Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. This maxim holds true for some of the most celebrated books in modern history, which may be acclaimed for certain aspects but, overall, are simply too problematic to be praised.

Here are 12 classic novels that we’re sorry to say actually suck.

„Pride and Prejudice“ by Jane Austen was critiqued by renowned authors.

Jane Austen’s 1813 novel, „Pride and Prejudice,“ follows the love story of Miss Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in provincial England in the late 1700s. Many authors, however, have since had bones to pick with the story.

Author Charlotte Brontë, for example, thought the book offered merely a surface-level look of society at the time.

According to the British Library, in a letter to writer and critic George Henry Lewes, Brontë said she found Austen’s portrait of life in „Pride and Prejudice to be like a photograph of „a carefully-fenced, highly cultivated garden with neat borders and delicate flowers — but no glance of a bright vivid physiognomy — no open country — no fresh air — no blue hill — no bonny beck.“

Ralph Waldo Emerson echoed her sentiments and had a distaste for Austen’s novels in general.

Reporter Lee Siegel wrote for The Atlantic that, „Austen irritated Emerson: he found her novels ‚vulgar in tone, sterile in artistic invention, imprisoned in the wretched conventions of English society.‘ All that her characters cared about was ‚marriageableness.‘ ‚Suicide,‘ the great Transcendentalist proposed, ‚is more respectable.'“


„Gone with the Wind“ by Margaret Mitchell eclipses the perils of slavery.

Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 Civil War drama, „Gone with the Wind,“ has come under fire for its romanticized portrayal of slavery and the Confederacy. Although the book features some slaves as fully formed characters, none of those characters ever complain about their servitude or welcome freedom. Cass R. Sunstein wrote for The Atlantic that, „Mitchell doesn’t exactly celebrate slavery, but she doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with it. In her account, there is nothing particularly good about emancipation.“

Furthermore, Mitchell described freed slaves as „monkeys or small children turned loose“ and „childlike in mentality, easily led and from long habit accustomed to taking orders.“ To put the nail in the coffin, she arguably portrays the Northerners — and not the slave-owning Southerners — as the bigots of the story.

„The Chronicles of Narnia“ by C.S. Lewis is problematic.

First published in 1950, C.S. Lewis‘ „The Chronicles of Narnia“ is a popular fantasy series about the war between good and evil. Author Philip Pullman, who penned the „His Dark Materials“ fantasy trilogy, is a harsh critic of the books. According to the Guardian, at a 2002 festival, he said, „it is monumentally disparaging of girls and women. It is blatantly racist. One girl was sent to hell because she was getting interested in clothes and boys.“ 

He also took umbrage with the thinly veiled Christian metaphors throughout the novels: „I realized that what he was up to was propaganda in the cause of the religion he believed in.“ Subliminal messaging in a children’s book? Not cool.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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