Why You Should Read Classic Literature

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11 mins read

Why should you read classic literature?
Are the stories amazing? Yes, they are. Do they teach you things about yourself? Do they illustrate great truths of human nature? Do they stir the soul to great deeds? Of course they do. But in this sad, debauched age, where men’s spirits hang low, and honor is thin, you must read the classic works for another reason. It’s mundane, and boring, but critical. You must know whether you are being lied to.
If you watched the live action version of The Jungle Book, you would have thought it was great, until the very end. In the movie, Shere Khan kills Akela effortlessly by throwing him off of the flat rock. This did not happen in the book. At the end of the movie, Akela’s mate becomes the Alpha Wolf, or pack leader. In today’s age of gender flipping roles to attract women, this fits. It doesn’t fit the story, however. In the Second Jungle Book, Phao, a male wolf, becomes the pack leader after Akela is deposed. The 1967 Disney version was not faithful to the books, either, but the gender flipping was non existent.

ford
Glorfindel Defeats the Nazgul. http://www.tolkienion.com/images/nasmith/ford.jpg.html

This is happening more and more across literature being adapted into movies. An egregious example in many scenes is from Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. His partner (not wife) and writing partner, Phillipa Boyens, decided there weren’t enough women in Tolkien’s writings, so she decided she would change it. After all, what did Tolkien know? Boyens could obviously do it better.  In keeping with her desire for women to have more of a role in LOTR, she made Arwen have a much bigger role. She has Arwen defeat the Nazgul at the Fords of Bruinen, not Glorfindel, as Tolkien wrote. There are websites that go into much greater detail than in this piece and it is very handy to know where to look after you read a book.
Why is this such a big deal to the Men of the West? Stories, legends, poems etc. are all irreplaceable parts of culture. In Western Civilization, they are invaluable for transmitting our culture from one generation to the next. An incredibly important aspect of tale of heroes, feats of heroism, victory against all odds is teaching our sons the intangible values they need to fight, and why they must fight. What are they protecting? Why is it worth protecting? The countries that make up Western Civilization are vast in population, technology, know how but lacking in the intangibles. We have the people, the tools, the technology, but not the will. And in the end, the will to fight and win is what carries the day.
If you can make a white Christian man hate himself, he will not fight. He won’t have the moral fiber, the will to do so. He can then be defeated easily. Why have white Christian men in the west been told they are evil, racist, stupid, blah blah blah for decades? To rob him of the will to fight? Why should he fight? He is a failure…or so he has been told. If we are the villains in every book, tv show and movie, eventually we will either commit cultural suicide, or shake off the programming. Sadly, the former is effective. In Maleficent, the villain is the white Christian ruler, and Maleficent, whose very name means evil, is the good person, the hero. This is obviously 180 degrees different from the original movie, where Maleficent literally calls on all the powers of hell to defeat Prince Phillip. You can see why our cultural overlords can’t let this stand. The fairy godmothers give the prince a sword of truth and a shield of righteousness:
“So arm thyself with this enchanted shield of virtue and this mighty sword of truth. For these weapons of righteousness will triumph over evil.”
Huh. Does that remind you of anything? Before Prince Phillip throws the sword into Maleficent’s heart,
Prince Phillip defeats Maleficent.
Prince Phillip defeats Maleficent. http://oncepodcast.com/once-upon-a-time-podcast-038-a-land-without-magic-part-1-fairy-tale-land/prince-throwing-sword-into-dragon-maleficent-sleeping-beauty/

the fairies combine their magic into the sword and say this:
Now sword of truth fly swift and sure,
That evil die and good endure!
It’s quasi biblical, and reminds the viewer of the whole armor of God, found in Ephesians Chapter 6. Obviously, this can not stand. But this is how values, and will, and courage and strength are passed down from generation to generation. Elements of our cultures, eons old, can be found in story after story. Courage, self sacrifice, honor, persistence, victory over evil are all strands that tie us to our ancestors, to our history, our identity.
What of Star Wars? You can find so many archetypes, tropes, leitmotifs and cultural images in the original trilogy that university courses should be taught about it, and are. Jedis are amalgams of samurai and medieval swordsmen. The Empire are Nazis with British accents. The Star Destroyers are named after British Ships of the Line. The dogfights trade Messerschmidts and Zeros for TIE Fighters. The music borrows from Wagner in several ways. Luke Skywalker is the archetype of the young, questing hero who leaves home to find his destiny. Han Solo is the walking, talking embodiment of every swashbuckling pirate and bad boy to ever grace a page or screen. Darth Vader is the wizard who wields evil magic. On and On. The Force Awakens, on the other hand, is merely the story of a girl who can do everything, knows everything, can pilot anything, automatically knows how to use the Force, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In the newest installment, Rogue One, the rebels are a multicultural force all united in diversity, complete with a spunky girl who leads a bunch of men to victory. The Empire is made up completely of perfect Aryan males. Do girls need heroes? I am told that every day.
A more important question: Do little boys need heroes? My five year old son has to go to the bathroom with the door open because he is afraid the zombies will get him. Hopefully when he is 18, he will have to leave the door open because he is conducting biological warfare experiments on us, not because he is afraid of zombies. How does he make that transition? Heroes. A little boy must read of heroes, who prevail in the face of evil. Who shake their fists in the tyrants’ faces. Who don’t give up, or lose heart, even when his enemies and his “friends” tell him to turn and run. In real life, men fail every day. We lose heart. We fail. We falter at the moment of truth. But sometimes, when the hour is darkest, and hope seems lost, some men don’t falter, or fail. theoden-ridesThe bluster of the braggart, the false courage of the fool, all fail. The heart of the man who trusts in God, will not. The foundation of all of our stories, and legends, and heroes and might men of valor, is God. The source of their strength, courage, valor, their heart is God. The knight errant, Prince Phillip, yes even Frodo and Samwise, all depend on The Lord.
How does God describe Himself? In epic terms, in ways that give birth to great stories and legends. He inspires literature, song, books, characters and stories. He is the root of Christendom, the overriding influence above all of Western Civilization. The “right thinking” people can’t stand this. They must subvert and twist our stories. They must rewrite our history, our identity, take away our young men’s chests. If they can rob us of the ability to fight, they can win, or so they think. They think they have the power. They don’t. Their power is illusory. It is a mist. It is a paper tiger, if only you have the courage to fight! It is more important than any one weapon, although an FN-FAL sure doesn’t hurt. And just to show you how weak and tenuous their power is, a great groundswell of courage, manliness and conflict arises the world over. The grandson of Augusto Pinochet has formed a new political party in Chile entitled “For Our Country”. The progressives shriek in terror; for they know and fear the name of Pinochet. We are winning.
Men of the West are interested in one thing, and one thing only: victory. As MacArthur said, There is no substitute.
Men of the West, Stand and Fight!

13 Comments

  1. My eyes are watering. Beautiful write up!
    I’ve been reading Chronicles of Narnia with my 7 year old. Do you have any recommendations for him? I know what to get my daughter to read, but for him – give me heroes to fill his head with!

    • John C Wright is cranking out an epic series for youths called Web and Cob, I think. It starts with the Swan Knights Son.

    • The archetypes of Western Literature are the epic poems. BeoWulf, Mort D’Arthur (the cover image), LOTR, Narnia, Kipling, Robert Service, Whittier, Cooper, etc. The list goes on.

  2. Get your 7 year old son every Henty book you can get your hands on. G.A. Henty. Great for young boys.
    The Tom Swift books are also wonderful, but I would get the older ones, not the updated ones.
    Hardy Boys are good. Again, go with the original ones.

  3. Roll Tide.
    Jack London. Rudyard Kipling. H. Rider Haggard. Jules Vern. C.S. Lewis. ‎Edgar Rice Burroughs.
    The list goes on. We just have to stoop and pick up the gems that they have laid down for us.
    Our enemies will try to corrupt as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many, many works that stand opposed that stretch back for thousands of years.
    We’ll lose if we don’t try. We might lose even if we do try. Either way, the Lord will be our strength and our guide.

  4. My favorite book is The Count or Monte Cristo. More than just revenge the Count believes himself to be God’s instrument of Justice.

  5. Another suggestion for a young male reader…. The Chronicles of Prydian by Lloyd Alexander. Over the years, my set has become worn, dog-earred, and lent out many times. A excellent coming of age saga that emphasizes loyalty, truth, faith, perserverance, and compassion.
    ws1835

    • Prydain was a good series. I’d rate them as a AAA baseball team. Nowhere near as derivative as Shannara. There is so much good literature out there, even from the 20th Century.

  6. That was a nice post, Nater.
    I would also suggest Edgar Allan Poe. Extremely specific, a stream of consciousness, a bit spooky, grammar out the ass…
    I got my child to read some of his writings. Old as she is, she remembers it.

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