Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Classic Club Meme 2.0: September

Think about some of your favorite classics.

I picked three from my Personal Canon:
- Germinal
- The House of Mirth
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

How do their stories, characters, or themes still resonate with you today?

Germinal by Émile Zola

The struggle of the poor is always relevant no matter in which century we live in. The capitalism, in particular, is even more relevant today, than in 19th century. The gap between the owner and the lowest worker is bigger - the owner becomes richer, but the worker is still living from hand to mouth, often in worst and inhumane condition.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

To commit murder is a choice, which makes this book always relevant, as long as we live. The choice, I mean, not the murder committing. Most of us will never come to that stage perhaps, but all the same, we could harm others with thousands of ways other than murder.

What can a modern day reader learn from these books written in very different times? This could be a positive or negative message, given constantly changing social modes. If a classic book no longer meets the social standards of our day, how do we best engage with its story or its themes in our modern world?

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Unlike back then in 19th century, nowadays marriage isn't the only way to choose a fulfilled life for women. Nonetheless, we learn from this book the machinations of society's (bad) influence against individuals, and how we should find courage to fight them, to protect the innocence.


  1. I agree with your observations about all three books. One of the things I love about reading the classics is that they do resonate through the ages. The particulars change, but the struggles, the tradeoffs, the griefs and the joys are pretty much the same.

    1. True, Jane. And that's why I love classics. Also, that it grows with us; reading it at different phases of life, will change our view of it.


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