Tripping the body electric in a fantastic manner
I loved 1984,but Animal Farm didn't interest me as much for some reason. While the central premise of 1984 has been to a considerable degree superceded by the progress of reality, I don't think that it is wholly obsolete, and even if it were, I find enough merit in the quality of the writing to make it worthwhile.
If there's a book that's worth denouncing, it's Gustav Flaubert's dreadful and stultifying Madame Bovary. I too have found that reading books forced upon me in school of my own volition improves the experience greatly, but nothing could save that tedious novel.
In truth, I have yet to find anything I consider absolutely necessary in reading classical literature. Unless you find that you really enjoy it, I see no reason for the erection of intellectual pretense even for the sake of appearances. Awkwardly enough, however, I find that I actually do enjoy those musty, highly-held books. Thucydides' A History of the Peloponnesian War is one of my favorite books, after all.
Compulsory reading his the unfortunate effect of taking most of the initiative from the reader, it being instead held like a marionette string by the teacher. In essence, it makes reading a book something to be done and finished for the sole reason of appeasing another, rather than achieving the carrying through of something taken upon oneself. And excess of limitations and burdens on reading a book ruins the flavor of it. I adored MacBeth, which I read in 11th grade with rather few excess concerns besides the book itself, but I was so beset with nonsense a year later while reading Hamlet under the command of a student teacher that I found reading that one of the most unpleasant experiences of my time in high school.
“What is earnest is not always true; on the contrary, error is often more earnest than truth.”