Great Expectations in education

Reading Great Expectations for the first time, I am inspired to question the value of my education. I took advanced English classes in one of the best public schools systems in Michigan, but I don't remember ever reading Charles Dickens in school. I don't even recall any excerpts from A Christmas Carol in my textbooks. What is going on here?

I read Oliver Twist on my own a few summers ago and found it very clever and funny. I've tried A Tale of Two Cities twice but I've never been able to get into it, which turned me off from Dickens a bit. Great Expectations, happily, returns to the humorous characters and turns of phrase that pleased me in Oliver Twist.

I realize that there are an enormous number of great works and great authors in Anglophone literature and that no education can include them all. It saddens me, however, to think of all of the high school students slogging through Richard Wright who have never been exposed to Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, or Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

srah - Sunday, 30 March 2003 - 3:50 AM
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