Happy Friday! I’m trying something new today and participating in the Classic Remarks linkup. The host shares a prompt relating to classic books in advance, and then you write a post or comment with your response. I have mixed feelings about classic books, but it’s fun to talk about them and to hear a variety of opinions! Today’s prompt is an interesting question. It really got me thinking about books I have read and disliked, and what I would change if given the chance. I’ve kept my post relatively brief (I don’t want to bore you with all the details of my opinions today!), and I invite you to consider the following prompt and share your own answer as well:
The first book that came to my mind with this prompt is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I read this book in elementary school, I think around third or fourth grade, and it was the first book I remember reading that was deeply sad. Prior to this book, a happy ending was always expected, and (spoiler alert) I didn’t think a main character (or dog) would actually die! I was absolutely livid about this book for years. I still can’t think about it without feeling a bit betrayed and disappointed. However, now that I have read more widely, I think I would have had this reaction to any book with a sad ending and that my feelings don’t necessarily reflect on the quality of the book itself. That does not mean I am willing to reread it though. So, there is a big part of me that would like to change this ending, but I also recognize that the ending may be the best for the story the author wanted to tell.
Another classic with an ending I would like to change is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I won’t spoil this one, but I found the ending highly dissatisfying. It isn’t angering like Where the Red Fern Grows. In fact, it really didn’t make me feel any sort of strong emotion. Instead I was just let down due to the rather abrupt and brief conclusion. I would have liked a longer ending with more explanation. Unlike Where the Red Fern Grows, I do think that changing this ending could add to the quality of the story. Salinger’s writing is incredible, but this story completely falls flat for me. Perhaps it’s because I read it on my own, whereas a lot of people I know read it in school. Perhaps it would be more enjoyable and meaningful when read in a group setting and with the added context of instructor-led discussions.
What classic book ending would you change if given the chance? Have you read Where the Red Fern Grows or The Catcher in he Rye, and if so, did their endings impact you the way that they did me?
I’m looking forward to seeing what endings others would like to change! Check out Pages Unbound for the rest of the linked posts!
Until the next chapter,