Allie DixonProfessor RichardsonEnglish 230November 12, 2011 Literature and Modern Day Life Classic literature is unexpectedly related to everyday situations in the modern day world.There are images within past novels and poems that are relative to the way in which people livetheir lives today. There are always passages in texts that remind people of modern day images.These texts can be closely related to many pop culture images and ideas. There are many connections between past texts and modern day events, ideas andscandals. Texts like Sir Gawain and The Green Knight translated by Simon Armitage and ThePrivate Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg are both stories that haveconnections to the present. When reading both these stories, there are several passages that jumpout and remind the reader of situations that have occurred recently. These modern situations canbe found all over the Internet, magazines and television. When a scandal occurs in today’s society, it is hard for someone not to hear about it. It ismade into a huge ordeal in which it means it is nearly impossible to miss out on. A quote fromSir Gawain and The Green Knight presents an image that can be related to a recent event. “Thenthe lady departed, leaving him alone,/for the man had amused her as much as he could”(Armitage ll.1870-1871). This passage from the poem relates to a recent break up in the celebrityworld. A split between Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal occurred, as Witherspoon couldnot see the couple getting married. These two, distinctly different time periods, relate in a way
that connects the past with the future. Topics that were relevant when these stories were writtenare still present today. The split between couples is nothing new as it has occurred in both the present and past.Another idea that has been present in both modern and past times is the idea of self-identity andthe way in which people handle themselves. The recent fall out with Charlie Sheen can be relatedto a passage in Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. “My life hasbeen of trouble and turmoil; of change and vicissitude; of anger and exultation; of sorrow and ofvengeance” (Hogg 81). There has always been a struggle for people to stay in control ofthemselves; this is not a recent concept. Whether or not people learn from past literature ormodern day events, many of the lessons are the same. There has always been a time when someone places blame or accuses someone ofsomething that they did not do. When something like this happens, things can get out of hand.And with the media involved, this is something that is very relevant in modern times. A quotefrom Hogg’s novel, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, explains that noteverything goes as it should. “This to me was wholly incomprehensible. I could have freelymade oath to contrary of every particular. Yet the evidence was against me” (Hogg 150). Thispassage from a text written nearly 200 years ago can be related to an event that happened withinthe past month. The recent marriage/divorce of Kim Kardashian is very similar to the quote.Many people have accused her of marriage just for the wedding and the money. As the viewersand or readers, the true reasons for things are not always evident. Although the truth is notalways revealed, many people find a way to label the situation. As times change, there are manysituations that remain the same.
In today’s society these ideas come from media rather than novels. Many pop cultureideas come out when reading these stories from the past. There is still truth to the novels that atfirst seem to be outdated. Ideas that were relevant in the past are still relevant in modern day; theway in which the information is received is the only difference.
Works CitedEntertainment Weekly. 11 Mar 2011: Cover. Print. http://art8amby.wordpress.com/2011/03/06/charlie-sheen-for-entertainment-weekly- 1145-march-11th-2011/>.Hogg, James. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. London: Penguin Classics, 2006. Print.Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. Trans. Simon Armitage. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007. Print.Us Weekly. 14 Nov 2011: Cover. Print. <http://onlinepeoplemagazine.com/kim-kardashian-us- weekly-magazine-november-2011/>.Us Weekly. 16 Dec 2009: Cover. Print. <http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/reese- leaves-jake-it-broke-his-heart-20091612>.