Wilson Library and Why Some Works Just Stick Around

The trip to Wilson library was both entertaining and educational. I enjoyed being able to hold and read books that can be both rare and historical at the same time. Among my favorites were the Jane Eyre books and the large Frankenstein book. The reason that those two stood out to me was because of the age of the Jane Eyre books and the craftsmanship of the Frankenstein novel.

It is always interesting why some novels pass the test of time and are constantly adapted and I think the answer is multi-faceted. The first reason that comes to mind for most people is that the book must be a good read and well-written. In response to that, I believe it is a matter of opinion and therefore not a sufficient enough answer for our question. There are plenty of interesting stories, written by incredibly talented authors that do not become classics.  Another reason why a novel becomes popular and transcendent is due to the timing and politics at the time in which it was written. An example of this would be Jane Eyre where the author, Charlotte Brontë, had to use the pen name of Currer Bell because female authors were simply not as accepted as male authors at the time. Since female authors did not have the same credibility as their male counterparts, Brontë was able to enter the market of male readers as well as female. An incredibly written novel that gave the perspective of a female was a demand that Brontë was able to fulfill. The same demand cannot be said the modern day as women have made much progress in this area already. While it is simply speculation, if Jane Eyre were to come out today, I do not believe that it would be nearly as popular because I do not think that it was fulfilling a need or interest in current society.

An example of an adaptation that fulfilled a need in society is Marvel’s “The Black Panther”. This was one of the largest grossing movies of all time, not just because of the effects, script writing, and acting, but also because it addressed an important social issue as well. Just as Brontë was a female writer during a time of male dominance in the field, Chadwick Boseman played the lead role of a superhero during a time where that was traditionally reserved for white males. The movie also exposed other racial and socio-economic issues as well during a period of massive partisanship and divide in the United States. The timing and political events that the movie was created under helped it to become a massively successful movie and potentially a historic one as well.