The Pony Express

Perception of novels changes over time

Antonio Garcia, Distribution Reporter

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The concept of perception is something that dictates every life on Earth. Perception affects how one interprets something, which leads to an opinion of that particular thing. An individual’s perception is formed by their past experiences, attitudes, motives, etc. Adolescence is an important time for one’s perception, as it is the time the brain is developing most. From the start of middle school to the end of high school, someone’s perception may become very different. Reading a book is an effective way to measure this change in perception or awareness.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a novel that is read in many junior and senior high schools. PBS has recently named it “America’s best-loved novel.” The story contains powerful themes, including the moral nature of humans and social/racial inequality. While “To Kill a Mockingbird” has prominence in our country, it is also controversial. Some readers agree with the elements of the novel, although others disagree.

Photo By Antonio Garcia
Freshman Adrianna Garcia reads “To Kill a Mockingbird”. She could perceive the same novel very differently in a few years, because of a gain in knowledge and experience.

A public survey was conducted by PBS, to find out which novel Americans love the most. Out of 100 books, “To Kill a Mockingbird” received the most votes. This achievement from the book has been glorified by media outlets, but has also been called a problem.

The voters of “To Kill a Mockingbird” may argue that the novel is a good way to learn about racism and injustice, and how we have overcome the social complications during the civil rights era. The opposing side would perhaps argue that the novel contains major flaws; including the fact that the narrator is a white child who witnesses racial difference, but never has first-hand experience with discrimination and prejudice.

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” noted English teacher Traci Swenson, “is an important novel for several reasons. Those being that it teaches valuable life lessons, and it discusses major issues during that time period. It also shows how two people can read the exact same book, and have a completely different interpretation of it.”

Novels centered around significant topics are very educating to youth, which is why many read the book at least once in school. Not only can books show the difference in perception between people, but it can help to see changes in an individuals own perception over time.

It teaches valuable life lessons, and it discusses major issues during that time period. It also shows how two people can read the exact same book, and have a completely different interpretation of it.”

— Traci Swenson

Michael Robinson, junior and exceptional reader explained, “I’m definitely smarter than I was four years ago. Not only that, but I’d probably just be more aware of what I’m reading.”

If someone were to read a novel in seventh grade and again in twelfth grade, their understanding of the novel may change significantly. This is because over time people gain more experience and knowledge, leading to an increase in their awareness. This change in mental development is massive during youth.

Robinson added, “I feel like I would notice a lot of things that I didn’t before. It would be cool to see if I thought any different about the book now.”

The way that people perceive things in life almost controls how they live their life. Perception is significant in novels and it varies from person to person. This can cause conflict, but it also important in the understanding of no human being is alike.

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About the Writer
Antonio Garcia, Distribution Reporter

My name is Antonio Garcia, I am a distribution reporter for the Pony Express Newspaper and am a junior this year. I play a lot of sports for fun and enjoy...

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