Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university. Why did you dislike it?
I've really loved the Literary Hop questions lately, and this week is no exception!
I took a class called 19th Century British Novels my sophomore year of college. I was really excited for this class, since I'd never really read Jane Austen, any of the Bronte's or anything by Dickens that I liked (I was still hopeful hear. I promise this isn't another Dickens rant). While I ended up enjoying almost everything I read for the class, I came out with a deep hatred for Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South.
I know plenty of people who love Gaskell and this book, but reading it back to back with Pride & Prejudice really ruined it for me. I could see nothing but the similarities between the two, and while I loved Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, I hated Margaret Hale with a passion. I've written here a few times about how I need to have a character I like,or at least identify with to have a really enjoyable reading experience, and that's what I was lacking here.
Of course, I also had major problems with the story. Ok, my real problem was that I thought it was dull and that Gaskell's sole purpose was to irritate me. I know I argued in class about Elizabeth's odd, out of period attitude and anything else that might have irritated me.
Even now I know my reasons for disliking North and South really aren't fair, and aren't very objective, but that's what I really like about literature. Something can be well written and well received, and still people can dislike it and have an argument against it.
Thinking back I did really like Mr. Thornton.