I was thinking about the kind of impact that books have on our world and I kept coming back to the same conclusion. My conclusion is that there is nothing that we have now that cannot be traced back to books. That may seem like a stretch to some people BUT it is actually true. Everything that we have has either been learned, passed down, recreated, etc, from books from our past or even the present.
I decided to compile some books that I know have influenced change. I know it is a small list in the grand scheme of things BUT these are ones that I know have influenced the world in a positive way.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This novel offers insight into a piece of history that is all about racial persecution. If we did not have this young girl’s diary would we know what we know? Historical information can be altered in favour of a certain party or to protect something from being discovered. This personal diary of a young girl offers a kind of raw information that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
I have mentioned this book before. I talked about it in my Top Ten Tuesday list this week. This book is highly credited with changing how people in the northern states viewed slavery. It also serves as a reminder of one of the most inhumane acts our world has ever done, treat certain people as less than human.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
While I do not enjoy Moby Dick at all I will give it credit for being one of the first of its kind. It is filled with strategic symbolism and nature writing. It is one of the first books to have such a rich amount of detail that it caused a ripple effect. The genre of true nature writing was born.
Iliad and Odyssey by Homer
If we look at these books strictly based on the amount of information we get from reading them, there is so much value there. The amount of Greek mythology, history, and legend that is presented caused other novels to be written. Would we have Percy Jackson if these two novels didn’t happen? Maybe not.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This booked is actually credited with saving the old traditions of Christmas. Again, would Christmas still be the same had this not have been written? Maybe not.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Some people may disagree with me about listing this book as having great influence, however, I don’t know how you could argue against it. This novel somehow created a culture all on its own. It connected with not just the readers in its demographic but everyone, even adult readers. There are very few novels that can or have done that. It may not have created change, but it did something that nearly no novel has done and that is reach everyone.
I am mainly focusing on pieces of literature that are not particular to things like politics and science. There are books like The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud that have had great influence but I am not getting into those kinds of books. Maybe another time.
If you can think of a book that has influenced people or had an impact on society PLEEEASE comment with it 🙂 … I would love to know!