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Wondering Why
Grace Mehr
14 Aug 2002

What makes a classic a classic? Is a classic what it is because of time, because of age, did it earn the right to the title? It seems that nowadays, everything is about the same subject. That same feeling of desperation that haunts all of us. Depression, we all feel it, some more than others. Why doesn't anyone write about the beautiful, sweet, enchantment of guilt free happiness anymore? The classics, although many with their melancholy tones and moods, contained this element of.sincerity and, despite the style of writing or theme, a hint of civility.

Maybe the problem is that there is no true happiness anymore. Literature reflects the time, and maybe these accounts of sad, ghostly people that inevitably die as a result of their self-misery are all that exist in this world.

What happened to our hope? What happened to the innocence of Holden Caulfield's sister, or the honor and respectability of Atticus? Where did Ozma go, maybe back to Oz? To a place where misery did not overpower happiness as a moral? Or maybe she went to a different Oz, a more deathly (and modern) Oz. Maybe her psychiatrist told her she could take a few lithium and her "visions" that no one could explain would go away. But why do we need them to go away? Just because they are unexplained doesn't make them bad. Right?

I miss it, the happy faces I thought I saw when I was a small child. To lose something in yourself (I guess it is the hope?) is - I could almost, no definitely, say - DEPRESSING.

Maybe classics are a thing of the past, maybe they are called what they are called because they caused feelings. A natural high, which seem not to exist anymore in this world of varying substance, was the result of reading a passage from a classic. Where is the hope or adventure in a story that offers no solution? Where is the underlying message in a hateful biography on self-mutilation or suicide?

I want to lie back, and wonder. Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, Narnia. The possibilities are endless. What would you give to be there with Peter or Alice, and feel the same feelings, of awe and not question your worth or your life for one solitary day? When did this fight begin? And when did we lose it?

I sound like them. Has it been lost? I'd like to think not. But what do I know? My appointment with Dr. Jacobs is in 15 minutes, I'll get back to you with his prognosis.

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