Bloom-Hornby Analysis

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Harold Bloom and Nick Hornby show their different philosophies of how people today should read literature. In Harold Bloom’s How to Read and Why, he states that it is important to read books for ourselves to capture more ideas from the world of literature. He says, “One of the uses of reading is to prepare ourselves for chance, and the final change alas is universal.” His comment about the “final change” being “universal”, the emphasis in Bloom’s essay is that people should be reading works by the great authors such as Sophocles, but he believes that people can gain the most by William Shakespeare. He states that Shakespeare’s plays are masterpieces that they would give people a better understanding of life’s universal experiences. For example, he says that reading King Lear help people understand the nature of patriarchy. Bloom’s statements give that definite impression that he is heavily biased towards Shakespeare. I find Shakespeare’s work to be passé and difficult to understand without it being taught in a classroom. I see no benefit in being forced to understand plays written in old English and the fact that Bloom suggests that the best place to read about and understand the universal conditions of man to be patronizing and literary elitism. He believes that at modern technology is detrimental to literature because “A childhood largely spent watching television yields to adolescence with a computer.” I agree that my generation does rely on computers and televisions but I disagree with his assessment of how great a threat this is to reading. Many people read extensively on the internet and e-books and the quantity of television is improving with literate shows on public broadcasting or cable shows. We also are exposed to Shakespeare and other great authors at school, that don’t necessarily need to read in our own time. In conclusion, Bloom is stating the only
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