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The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

English Class is the Most Important Course

According to a National Fordham Institute survey, analyzing “What Teens Want From Their Schools,” English was found to be the second least liked subject, with 14% of students voting for it. Despite this, English classes are some of the most important classes: for students, and for society as a whole. These courses provide a space where students absorb highly influential literature, and therefore continue apportioning the revolutionary ideas contained into our society. For example, some traditional required readings like “Hard Times,” “Jane Eyre” and “Pygmalion” can be examined, as their impacts expand beyond their publishing dates.

The main message of “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens was meant to criticize the education system of Britain. Back in the late nineteenth century, schools were commonly small, with limited classrooms containing “(…)high up windows to prevent children from seeing out of. Furthermore the walls of the schools lacked creativity, (…)” the teaching was typically strict and [i]t wasn’t uncommon for children to be beat by canes made from birch wood.”

Needless to say, this is quite different from a standard large, American, public school. Still, the images of past education systems and their wrongs are necessary to instill into children. It ensures that a new generation pushes forward with technology, teaching methods, school funding and other educational functions. Students who read this satirical novel in their own high schools will gain a deeper understanding of broken education systems, and be able to identify wrongful behavior in the book. They will grow up, and change the world by voting against laws encouraging behaviors from the book, inventing new formulas and techniques for teaching, improve school regulations and more. These students will grow up and continue to churn the cogs of society forward, all because of an English course reading.

The controversial sentiments of “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte revolve around feminism. One of the most famous quotes comes from Chapter 6 and reads,““[w]hen we are struck at without reason, we should strike back again very hard.” This sentiment introduced a completely different attitude for a multitude of young women who were taught to enhance and value their compliance, docility and submission.

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This piece of literature is crucial to a comprehension of feminism for students, and aid in the identification of its development. Since the release of the novel, women have fought for significant advancement in women’s rights such as suffrage, the ability to work, the right to make independent health and monetary decisions and equal pay. The foundational conception and appreciation for feminism will aid in the furthering of its ideas, and the integration of it into society. If these ideas spread all throughout America and are reflected in our legislatures, other countries may follow suit. Globally, social standards and living conditions could be bettered, due to the teachings of “Jane Eyre.”

“Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw addresses the staggering difference between economic classes in early 20th century England. He illuminates in that everyone is equal and should be treated with the same manners; specifically stating in Act 5 that “(…) one soul is as good as another.”

Young teens who absorb this message recognize that those who are economically challenged do not deserve to be, as students recognize them to be identical in humanity as the wealthy. This is especially pertinent in America, with a growing gap between the rich and poor. As these English students age, they may support programs which attempt to close this gap, enforce plans which fix the economy, and more. Because of the literature they read, they will be inspired to be philanthropic, and will not judge a person based on their economic status. It will bring mankind closer to a non-discriminatory world.

In conclusion, despite these works typically being described as uninteresting, or old, they are just as relevant and influential today as they were during their times; and despite being the most hated course, English classes which register these works to students are the central part of securing said influence.

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About the Contributor
Camryn Lee
Camryn Lee, Reporter
Hello! My name is Camryn Lee and this is my third year on The Trailblazer staff. I really enjoy writing opinion and entertainment related articles. I also partake in passive photography. My favorite show is House M.D.
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