The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a known piece of classic literature. It is often referred to as a “Great American Novel” by many people. And following closely in its path, only the way to becoming a classic, is the novel Atonement, by Ian McEwan. To become a real classic piece of literature there are some criteria a novel must meet. A novel must use effective language. It must also have a universal appeal. Finally a classic novel must be timeless. These are all criteria that I will use to argue why the novel Atonement, by McEwan, is a classic just like The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald.
It is often a topic of argument: What makes a classic? Well because “a classic” can define just about anything, we first will narrow it down. This paper will focus on the field of literature. Still what makes a piece of literature a classic? Well as outline above, the most common criteria for literature tend to focus on language of a novel, a novels appeal to a large audience, and its ability to endure time. These are three basic criteria that are accepted by most critics and I agree with their ability to separate a good novel from a classic one. Now that we know what criteria we are basing our decisions on we must define them clearly so that there isn’t any confusion.
To start with the language of a novel can be a crucial it its determination of whether or not it is a classic. As obvious as it may seem, effective language is the foundation of good writing. Effective writing is in word choice, sentence structure, phrasing, etc. It is also the experience in which the reader engages the text. No matter who reads it they can understand because the language is able to change to suit its audience. Many parts make up a good piece of literature, however the writing and language was what created the intriguing plot and fascinating character of the story. Language is often forgotten as a tool in writing novels, because when it’s done well, most readers are too invested into the story to really examine the words on the page. The best stories don’t necessarily have to be the ones with metaphors or clever phrases. They are the ones whose language inspires the writer to continue writing and the reader reading! This hopefully clears up what we mean when we use effective writing as a criteria for determining is a piece of literature is or can become a classic
The next criteria tool to define is universal appeal. Like the phrase states the piece of literature isn’t refined to one area, whether geographic or not. A great novel evokes emotions, reactions, and makes personal connections through human relationships. In a classic piece of literature this happens across national boundaries, gender differences, historical backgrounds and many other borders. This isn’t always just done when a good story is told. It can be expressed through language, themes, style, and by other means. No matter who or where a great piece of literature is read, some kind of feelings and...