September Classic Club Meme Question

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rereading a favorite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?

I’ve reread Little Women multiple times now. I’m endlessly fascinated by how the same book becomes new with each new stage of life. When I first read it I remember so much about the girls plays outside and having picnics. I remember Amy falling thorough the ice and the plays they put on for the Pickwick Club.

When I read it in college I loved Jo’s adventures in New York. I remember Amy’s travel’s in Europe with envy. Then re-reading it this year I finally noticed Meg’s struggle to adjust to married life and the depth of the relationship between Jo and the professor. Marmee’s role really stood out to me this time as well. Her gentle guidance and encouragement shapes her daughter’s lives.

I love how each time I return to a favorite book I discover something new. I’ve done this with all of Austen’s work and To Kill a Mockingbird and others, but this one has particularly felt like a different novel to me each time I read it. I think that says quite a bit about my identifying with different stages of life and choosing to focus on those when I read.
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Andi said...

This is one of those books I've struggled to read over the years (it remains unread). But I hope to remedy that before the year is up. I am determined! And I love books that change as we come back to them.

Jeanne said...

I also read Little Women differently after I learned about Emerson and Trancendentalism, which influenced Alcott's picture of the girls' upbringing.

Lynn said...

I read this a long time ago but did enjoy it. It would be interesting to see how I felt about it now - I suppose this particular meme question is making us all feel like that really! Too many books and too little time though.
Lynn :D

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Andi - I wonder if I would have loved it if I hadn't read it when I was young.

Jeanne - I hadn't thought of that! I would love to read more of Emerson and then re-read it again in a few years.

Lynn - I know, I've always hesitated to reread books because I felt like I was "wasting" time. I've made rereading a priority lately and I've loved it!

Brona said...

Little Women was one of my constant rereads when I was young - I spent a lot of time imagining I was was most like Jo (when really I was a Meg!)
But I haven't read them since I was a teenager (although I've seen the movies).
It would be interesting to see how I feel about them now.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Brona Joy - Too funny, I'm definitely like Jo, big mouth that can get me into trouble.