English books are more than just depressing

Brittany Toombs, Staff Writer

If there is one thing I’ve learned from years of Liberty English, it’s that humans, as a species, suck. It’s the connection between all of the books I’ve read in high school.

The “Things They Carried,” “The Crucible,” and the debacle that is “Things Fall Apart” are marked with miserable themes that leave readers dejected. Of course there is much more to every novel we devour in these hallowed halls, and several have landed on my shelf of favorites. However, the aura of melancholy omnipresent in English is exasperating.

Now, I’m sure that there are some fantastic, life-changing lessons to be learned in Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart. ” But all I can remember are the constant yam overtones and names no one could keep track of. But this was merely the tip of the iceberg: the real funeral began in tenth grade.

Sophomore year was mainly dedicated to reading stories proving that humans are evil, savage creatures: ultimately, that we suck. The dystopian novels we read took a stab at our doomed future. Take your pick, Patriots: totalitarianism, human conditioning, or basically a reincarnation of WALL-E. What will it be? We’re on rollercoaster that only goes up? Nope, more like a rollercoaster catapulting into a fiery pit of disaster and savagery.

Should we all just give up on humanity now? Quit while we’re ahead? Mustapha Mond basically destroyed all my faith in the human existence in two chapters.

Despite the glum angles posed in these books, we can’t deny that they didn’t move us. Did those stories deeply affect me and change the way I look at the world? Definitely.

Perhaps literary tragedy is created to give lighthearted students a healthy dose of cynicism, to give meaning and weight to the literature.

Maybe the price we pay for a profound understanding of the world around us is depressing literature. Without showing us what there is to lose, we wouldn’t be warned about our dystopian future creeping into the present, or understand the consequences of conformity. We wouldn’t be motivated to change our ways and further understand this lil’ thing we call the human existence. That’s why books read in English are so memorable, so invigorating.

Despite the annoying amount of fatalism and the occasional creepiness lingering in our English classes, try to remember why those books are assigned in the first place. To warn us, help us understand our natures, and most importantly: integrate yam culture into our impressionable souls. Thanks, Okonkwo!