MV students on the overevaluation of books

MV students on the overevaluation of books

Rachel Lee

Required reading is a contemplated issue between students and teachers within the Mountain View High School community. While understanding plot complexities can help illuminate initially hidden elements, often intense analysis takes away from the overall value of the narrative.

At MVHS, our required reading ranges from stories and novels all throughout our four years. Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Separate Peace are examples that stand out from our high school experience. However, students take different stances on the topic of overanalyzation. Some students feel that the repetitive and constant observations of a story can ruin its value, while others find that digging deeper can help them truly understand the meaning and complexity of such a book.

“I definitely would have agreed with [extensive reading being unnecessary] last year, but the book we started reading reading in sophomore year, Into the Wild, has changed my perspective.” Michelle Frees, a sophomore, said. However, she further explained, “I like annotating for my own understanding, as opposed to [annotating] for a grade.”

“…Even though the teachers might think [excessive analyzation] will help our critical thinking, it ruins the reading experience overall,” Dominique Lau, a freshman said.

“I think it is kind of enjoyable to analyze books,” Erica Higa, a junior, said, expressing that she only prefers analyzing books if she has the time available to do so.

“I dislike [annotating] because I remember in one class we were annotating one single word in a book and it was just really irritating,” Raya Maggay, a freshman, said.

Students have controversial and mixed feelings on the topic of studying a book from our English classes. When exploiting the text in a story, some students feel that they are more capable of understanding what lies underneath the metaphors and complex vocabulary. These students feel as if they can get more of the value and meaning of a book by observing, annotating, and writing about it. On the other hand, some students find that picking apart a book makes the book lose its value.