It is my belief that every good novel has a lesson. Some have more, veiled or unconcealed. Though reading a novel is a fun pastime, it can also be educational. There is more to a story than its characters and plot. Each story is unique, with its own lessons. The more we can learn from stories and novels, the better. Here are a few examples of novels with lessons that I have found in them.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen: Though the most obvious lesson in this novel is not to be too quick to judge, there is another very important lesson: people can change. Through the novel, we see how Darcy changes from a man of pride to one of humility. At the beginning of the novel, Darcy is an arrogant aristocrat who says of his future love, Elizabeth Bennet, “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me. I am in no humor at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men.” Throughout the novel, we read of Darcy’s slow change in character and evolving perspective on Elizabeth. Darcy shows kindness and respect to Elizabeth and her relatives even though they were once considered “low” in his prideful mind. In the end, Darcy and Elizabeth find, after much change, that they have more in common after all, and they marry. We should all realize that people may not always be the way they are, that there is hope someone can change.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo: Because this novel is so long, there are many lessons that I found. The most prevalent is that there is hope even in the darkest circumstances. We see how Fantine, a poor mother abandoned by her lover, is driven low by poverty, but still clings to the hope of seeing her daughter again. We also see how the rebels at the barricade in Paris had hope that the people would rise up with them—that their deaths would be for something. Cosette holds the hope that she will see her love, Marius, again, though he had gone to the barricade. The author, Victor Hugo, testifies that his characters have hope because of God–He is the only one who can bring light to such darkness. The stories of hope in this novel are touching, and we can all benefit from knowing that God will give us hope when we need it most.
Emma by Jane Austen: The largest lesson I found in this novel involves not meddling in other peoples’ affairs. We read of how Emma tries to be a matchmaker, how she meddles with Harriet’s life and “helps” her decide who she should marry. Harriet ends up “loving” three different men because of what Emma did to influence her decisions. Harriet suffers a broken heart when she learns that all three men do not want to marry her, and they instead marry others. Eventually, Harriet decides to marry a fourth man, Mr. Martin, a man she found without Emma’s “help.”
These are just three novels that I chose to mention here, but almost every novel has a lesson in it. We can all learn a little something from each novel we read. Let us remember what Proverbs 18:15 says, “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
About the Author:
Name: Abigail Sarabacha
How many years have you been apart of TPS?
This is my second year with TPS.
What classes are you taking this year with TPS?
I am taking Spanish 1 and Biology with TPS.
What are a few of your hobbies?
I enjoy reading, writing, enjoying time with my cats, playing the piano, and planning events.