To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible and Of Mice and Men are all to be removed from the British GCSE curriculum. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary and notorious arsehole, wants British students to study more British works, particularly written pre-20th century.
Now, I'll be honest here: I studied Of Mice and Men at GCSE and absolutely hated it. I think there are some legitimate criticisms of it but being American is not one of them.
I think there is a lot of value in looking critically at where our cultures have come from through the study of classic literature. However, I can't help but feel that the focus on British 20th century literature to the detriment of all else is, by and large, code for "the world as seen by colonial straight white men". The full list of texts, to be released later this week, will tell.
Of course, there's nothing to stop kids reading any of those books outside class. But surely the purpose of studying literature at high school level is to challenge perceptions, to broaden horizons and, hopefully, to instil an enjoyment of language and storytelling.
Gove, M. (c. 1980s-1990s) 'Prize Wanker and Inexplicably Successful Politician'
Simpson, B. (2014) "The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Bart Simpson"
(Are we citing images we stole from Tumblr or just gifs?)