Classic Character Essay

Submitted By WhiteCloud11
Words: 977
Pages: 4

Classical Character Societies rise and crumble, and all for one reason: character. Character is defined by those societies as they study their classical books. In order to study classical books the following questions need to be answered: What is a classic? What is classical character? What are the influences of classical reading on character and character development? Our founding fathers seemed to understand classics and their significance, but how well do we understand the importance of studying classics? What is a classic is hard, but not impossible to answer. Well known classics are; A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, etc. In each of these books, the characters go through many challenges within themselves and with life. In turn, they all begin to understand what is fundamental to keeping society and their hopes alive. In one or another, they know that without a healthy understanding of people and their interactions, the quality of character ceases, and people begin to become ruinous. Basing our definition on these kinds of books, classics should be whole, moral books that teach principles and build leaders who are able to wisely lead a community. Classics should teach truths, morals, and wisdom. They should influence us to better our livelihood and better our relationships with others. However, this is not how classics are defined. Classics, or “old literatures” are adapted as people lose interest1. This deprives them of understanding what old terms and phrases mean2. When this happens, society changes their definition of a classic. Therefore, to clearly state the definition of classics based on morals and principles, these need to be defined. Morals are “the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong).” (wikipedia, morality) Another word is Principles. Principles are “fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.” They are laws that are made, not by people, but by God, and they do not have to be enforced. They are common sense. If classics should be whole, moral books that teach principles and build leaders, then it is logical to assume that there are books that can be unclassical, being that they don’t have the basic theme of a classic. The basics of classics are important and should be studied. For some people they consist of deep interpretations and perspectives, but because it is not apparent on the surface, most will skip over it and miss it. One basic theme that is often missed is classic character. No, it is not the protagonists or antagonists of a book. Character, in this sense, is the principles that govern a person’s conscience. It will guide their course of action based off of past events and present ones. Their character will be decisive to whether or not they choose a course which will help them to follow correct morals. If not, they become the antagonist in the lives of those they come in contact with.
Values, character attributes, and growth define civilizations and the people within the society. These are the core of why people function with their laws, and why they may see fit to fight against those laws. Classic characters have cores that are trying to be understood. The authors of these classics may be trying to show people that there is a piece of this core that is missing within the society they currently reside. Some great examples come from The Swiss Family Robinson, Iliad, Beowulf, and others like those listed. In each of these books, we see people discover for themselves, through study or adventure, what is lacking in their life to allow them to be better.
The lack of good examples, in individual lives means that the classics are one of the few resources for people to learn morals and principles.