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The Books That Should Be Preserved: Romeo and Juliet, Hope is the Thing with Features and Harry Potter

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Introduction

Literature is important in our life as it allows people to express their values, belief, and traditions through various forms such as a novel, poetry. It also enables people to see life from the perspective of another. For decades, lifestyle, and societies can be changed, yet literature is still preserved the same. In addition for entertainment, there is usually a deeper meaning under a literary work. The author writes not only to entertain the readers but also to imply a message through their work. Therefore, literary works can be used to teach about human nature. In my opinion, in the case of the zombie apocalypse, there are three books that should be preserved for future generations. These books are Romeo and Juliet of Shakespeare, Hope is the Thing with Features, written by Emily Dickenson and Harry Potter, written by J.K Rowling. Romeo and Juliet and Harry Potter have the same implication for the power of love. They imply that love is the most important and essential emotion in the world. In addition to love, Dickinson implies that hope is also helpful to overcome harsh circumstances.

Romeo and Juliet

For many decades, Shakespeare is one of the greatest playwrights in the world. His literary works have significantly impacted literature. He has a deep understanding of humanity since most of his works explore human nature such as love, hatred, and loyalty. Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular plays of Shakespeare all the time. It must be preserved and encouraged for future generations to read as it implies a deep meaning. In this play, Shakespeare indicates that emotions such as hatred and anger are destructive. The conflict between two families, the Capulet and the Montagues, is brought to light multiple times throughout the play. The hatred for one another leads to the death of many people in the play including Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt at the end. Both families lose their children as a punishment because of their selfishness, hatred, and anger for another. At the end of the play, the Prince shows the destruction that the two families have caused through their ancient feud: ” See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate, / That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love./ And I for winking at your discords too/ Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punished” (5.3.308-311) After realizing their faults, the two families agree to forget about everything and make peace with each other. If the selfish feud between the two families is settled earlier, it will not have led to the misfortunes of the two young lovers. Besides criticizing the selfishness of the two families, which contributes to the tragedy of two young lovers, Shakespeare also conveys the message that love can conquer everything. In act 3, scene 3, Juliet is portrayed as being angry at Romeo since he killed her cousin, Tybalt. However, she is more heartbroken over Romeo’s banishment: “Wherefore weep I then? /Some word there [is], worser than Tybalt’s death, /That [murders] me. I [will] forget it fain, /But oh, it presses to my memory, /Like damned guilty deeds to sinners’ minds/ “Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished.” (3.2.108-113) The readers can see that Juliet’s love for Romeo is stronger than the hate she has for him, despite her cousin’s murder. Furthermore, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet at the end of the play help to end the ancient feud between the Capulet and the Montagues. Their love ultimately proves that love can last forever, and it can conquer hate. Romeo and Juliet is considered one of the greatest love stories with powerful lessons about human natures of love and hate. It proves that hatred can destroy everything, and love is the most powerful force in life. However, love is not always perfect. Each individual and society has some differences and disparities that sometimes create challenges for building relationships. Therefore, it is critical that people learn to accept their differences to make the world a better place.

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Hope is the Thing with Feathers

In my opinion, the poem that must be preserved for future generations is Hope is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson, who is one of America’s greatest poets. The work displays the theme of hope being present in human to help overcome difficult circumstances in life. Dickinson is successful in inciting positive moods for the readers through her poem. At the beginning of the poem, she uses the imagery of a bird to connect with hope:

“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stop-at all-” (1-4)

These sentences imply that like a bird always chirping, hope is always present in the human soul no matter what. Even though we cannot physically hear hope, we can feel its existence inside our soul. Hope never stops singing its tune to comfort our soul. The poet then extends her metaphor to emphasizes hope can endure under tough situations.

And sweetest- in the Gale- is heard-
And sore must be the storm-
That could abash a little Bird.
That kept so many warm- (5-8)

She means that even when life is rough like a brutal storm, we always have hope. Hope will give us the strength to overcome harsh situations. The warmth it gives to comfort us and to let us know that there is always a rainbow after the rain. Furthermore, hope does not stay in one place as it follows us everywhere from “the chilliest land” to “the strangest sea” (9-10). Even in the darkest moments of our lives, hope always resides by our side. Hope serves us selflessly without asking for anything in return, hope “never, in Extremity/ It asked a crumb of me.” (11-12) Even though the poem is short, and the language is very simple, it contains a deep meaning to enlighten people. Every human in the world needs to have hope to become stronger. Hope makes us stand up to get through the difficulties in life.

Harry Potter

Finally, the Harry Potter series, written by J.K Rowling, are fundamental works of fiction that need to be preserved from a zombie apocalypse. The novels are a phenomenon for the past few years because of their interesting contents. Besides the wonderful and magical world, there are some lessons that readers can learn through the novels. Love and friendship are the main themes of the series. They serve as a form of protection which helped Harry to overcome his challenges. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the author demonstrates the power of love by explaining that Harry’s ability to survive from Voldemort is from his mother’s love. When he is one year old, both of his parents are killed by Voldemort when they tried to protect him. Harry’s mother sacrifices herself to prevent him from being killed. Her love creates a protective barrier for him that causes the killing curse to be reflected upon Voldemort. At the end of the novel, Harry encounters Voldemort again, who is now in professor Quirrell’s body. However, professor Quirrell is not able to kill Harry since he gets burned whenever he touches Harry. Dumbledore, the headmaster at Hogwarts, then explains, “Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” (Rowling, “The Sorcerer Stone,” p.241) His parents’ love will continuously protect him even later on in his life. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the ghosts of his parents appear to help him fight with Voldemort, when he is almost killed by Voldemort. “‘Your mother’s coming…’ he said quietly ‘She wants to see you… it will be all right… hold on…'” (Rowling, “The Goblet of Fire”, p.431) In the series, love is the significant difference between Harry and Voldemort. Hence, it is an extremely powerful weapon to defeat evils. In addition to love, friendship is also important in helping Harry fight against evils. Harry meets Ron and Hermione on the train to Hogwarts. The three become best friends since then and has supported, protected, and helped each other to overcome many challenges. Ron always shows his willingness to come with Harry wherever he goes, Ron is known to say, “Oh come off it, you don’t think we’d let you go alone?” “We’re with you. No matter what happens.” (Rowling, “The Sorcerer Stone”, p. 271; “The Half-Blood Prince”, p.651) Ron and Hermione never want to leave Harry alone, even though they acknowledge that they will be in danger. Their true friendship is also proven when Ron and Hermione are willing to lay down their lives for Harry, “If you want to kill Harry, you’ll have to kill us too!… You’ll have to kill all three of us!” (Rowling, “Prisoner of Azkaban”, p.339) Besides love, their significant friendship makes Harry more powerful than Voldemort as Dumbledore says, “We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship” (Rowling, “The Goblet Fire”, p.466). The series not only takes the readers to the fantasy world but also helps the readers recognize that love and friendship are very essential in human life.

Conclusion

Everyone has a different perspective on literary works. In my opinion, Rome and Juliet, Hope is the Thing with Features, and the series of Harry Potter are necessary novels to be preserved and encouraged for future generations to read. Those literary books are not only interesting to read but also provides great moral values for the readers. Romeo and Juliet and Harry Potter teach us that we should value love more than anything. Additionally, the Harry Potter series also reminds us that friendship can help overcome difficulties in life. Dickenson brings hope and faith in life for people through her poem, Hope is the Thing with Feathers.

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