Why You Should Pay Attention in English Class

Why You Should Pay Attention in English Class

Charity Lurvey, Staff Writer

I don’t know about you, but I love English class. There’s just something about reading books written over 100 years ago that grabs my attention like nothing else. All joking aside, I’m sure that many of you can agree that English can sometimes be a subject that’s hard to stay awake in. However, I’m here to tell you that there’s a reason why English is required all four years of high school, and I’ll share a little bit about how I learned that along the way.


It wasn’t until my junior year English class that we read The Crucible, a book I’m sure a majority of juniors will soon be very acquainted with. The Crucible is a 1953 American play written by Arthur Miller, telling the story of the Salem witch trials (with some creative liberties taken). Aside from being a great book on its own, The Crucible has a very rich history that pertains to the land we stand on today. Lucky for me, I have a mother who loves to dig up that history, and she keeps me very informed on it. Before I even read the first chapter, she had made me well aware of my connection to the book,

with my 8th and 9th great grandmothers being accused witches in the trials. When reading the book, it was pretty cool knowing that some of my ancestors were such a big part of that story, but it wasn’t like they were characters or something. It wasn’t until I was able to dig deeper into my history when I was able to make some big connections. Turns out, my 8th great-grandmother’s brother married John Proctor’s sister. For those who have never read The Crucible, John Proctor is one of the main characters, and has a huge involvement in the story. With that information, English class turned from sitting in a room and flipping pages for 45 minutes, into reading a story as if I was actually there. Each line of dialogue were words that came from my great-grandmother’s sister-in-law’s brother. While I know that connection doesn’t sound thrilling to many of you, it turned English class around for me.


The truth is, it’s easy to look at literature and view it as made up stories used purely for entertainment, but books are stories of people just like us who wish to share the lessons they’ve learned. What I learned from this experience is that history is alive, and it’s in each of us. I’ve never been one to dig too deeply into English class, but look what happens when you do. For all you know, a little bit of you might be in the story and you don’t know it!