June Meme: Question #23

Hi clubbers!! We’re excited to be posting our June meme question for the club!

Here’s the question this month:

see future questions for this meme

Think of an example of a classic you’ve read that presents issues like racism/sexism as acceptable within society. Do you think the reception of this classic work would be the same if it were newly published today? What can we get out of this work despite its weaknesses? Or, why would you say this work is still respected/treasured/remembered in 2014?

Feel free to answer over at your blog any time in June, and leave the link to your post in the comments below.

Remember to check out this page for details or to share suggestions for future meme questions! And then check out one another’s posts!

Twitter hashtag: #ccmeme

“Reading” – Auguste Renoir (1890-1895)


14 thoughts on “June Meme: Question #23

  1. Pingback: Reading Ohio, Completed: The Conjure Stories | Simpler Pastimes

  2. Pingback: The Classics Club – Year Two

  3. Pingback: Classics Club June Meme: Religious Intolerance/Racism in The Song of Roland | Exploring Classics

  4. Interesting topic. We’re currently watching an Aussie TV series called Puberty Blues with my 2 teen stepsons. It’s based on a book and movie from the early 1970’s. It was controversial at the time due to the teen sex and drug taking, but not the ghastly, sexist attitudes that inform the story ( even though the authors intended that all along).

    The modern remake (still set in the 70,s) has proven to be a great talking point with the boys. They have been horrified by many of the actions and attitudes portrayed in the relationships. We talk about how people used to think, how unsatisfactory these relationships were for everyone concerned and how grateful to be living in more enlightened, equal times.
    A well written story with unsavoury attitudes can be used to discuss the society of the time and how things have evolved from that time. And how the things we write now also reflect our societies attitudes – attitudes that may be viewed very differently by future readers!
    Oops I think I just wrote my blog post as a comment :-/


    • I’ve been meaning to watch that show. I can’t bring myself to watch Mad Men after the first couple of episodes. I get too angry.

      I love what you said about how things written now will be seen differently by future readers. Historical literature can’t be discounted because of the sexism and racism of the time. They are adhering to the attitudes of the time. Some attitudes we consider terrible now were radically forward thinking for the times they were in. Shakespeare has a lot of strong women characters–in the Merchant of Venice a woman makes the successful argument in a law case. But then again, the anti-Semitism of that one… I often cringe as I read these works, but I try to be fair to the writer for the work and forgive the historical perspective that if I came across today, would make me want to punch things.


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