Did Pop Culture Destroy Literature?

Posted April 8, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Culture, Literature / 0 Comments

Isn’t it interesting that in pop culture, we think we know icons like Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. We know their basic story but until we read the books that made these characters famous, and then we realise that we have missed so much of the concepts and story.

Frankenstein is referenced  in countless  movies but ia most commonly associated with the monster, not the doctor. It’s just a tale of a monster terrorising the villages and  until you read the book you don’t understand it at all. I remember reading Frankenstein for the first time and discovering this isn’t a book about a monster.  This is a book about society and how we judge and treat people.

When it comes to Dracula, we all know the story of the Vampire, Count Dracula from Transylvania, but we don’t have a clue on just how interestingly the book was written. I went into the book thinking I was going to be reading a novel, but I discovered a series of letters, diary entries and ship logs that told this story in such an unsuspecting way.

Now unfortunately pop culture has ruined the plot of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but it has left out a lot of the interesting concepts. The book explores the idea of separating the Good from the Evil in the doctor, who was trying to explore the evil inside of himself and still live with his conscience clear. Or maybe it’s a story about living life with split personalities.   There are so many interpretations, but all in all its a book about the duality of human nature.  Pop Culture just tells a story of a doctor discovering this potion by accident.

The interesting thing is that no one really knows where Mr Hyde goes all those nights and what he does. This has lead to many of conversations through the ages trying to work out what Mr Hyde was up to; Some say it’s a metaphor for Homosexuality but I believe it’s open for personal interpretation. So the reader can make his own discovery on their evil side.

0 responses to “Did Pop Culture Destroy Literature?

  1. I think having these preconceptions can taint the experience of reading the book.
    Can you imagine what it was like when it first came out, and the readers discovering it for themselves, with no idea about where it would take them?

  2. The real tragedy to me is people don’t appreciate the sheer beauty of the written word in these classics. They hear the word “Classic” and treat it like it’s some infectious disease. Even a really faithful adaptation of a book still loses a great deal by being condensed down to fit into a 2-hour (or shorter) time frame on screen.

  3. gina

    Intellectualism died in America(as well as in many other places in the Western world), and that’s a big reason why. Originality and is seldom valued in our culture, as with intellectually challenging ideas even in science, art, music and literature. However, to say that literature is completely gone forever is a bold claim.

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