The English Novel and Essays by Edward Mirza – Improving Cultural Knowledge and Social Unity and De-mystifying Education in England

This website comprises an essay, manifesto, and novel, centering on the theme of education in England, and how, firstly it may be changed in order to better unify society; and secondly, how people may, at no cost, and as swiftly as possible, educate themselves, in order to improve social mobility: and both these ideas are aimed, foremost, at accelerating what may be seen to be, an existing, but rather slow passage out of a class tiered society.

It may be seen that this class tiered system continues to exist very prominently, while some claim that it does not; and that it may be considered almost childish, draconian, and absurd that it still exists.

The problem of people being not educated in the cultural sense, is that this reinforces a glass ceiling that stands in the way of evening classes, self improvement. This glass ceiling manifests as a social barrier, and an inhibition of the exchange of ideas, even of a commercial or business nature; it remains as a barrier in networking with people in similar business or professional roles, all of which conspire to reinforce the old social boundaries, and the idea of a ruling class, a middle class, and a working class.

It may be seen also to stem from a notion that the two party system, with its notions of ‘left and right’ tend to reinforce an idea of an underpaid lower class, who build the bridges and roads, by encouraging them to identify themselves in terms of a social hierarchy – of course as ‘lower’ in such a hierarchy, focusing ineffectually on minor financial improvements to their compromised position.

The proposed changes to the existing education system, and the national curriculum, as well as on the promotion and clarification of an online and freely accessible text and audiobook resource (the books are in the public domain) system of self education, which may be undertaken at any age, divorced from prohibitive financial costs and as much as possible from time constraints, focuses on the area of world literature.

The current national curriculum in the literary department at gcse and A-level, focuses on ‘English literature’ and in general on one or two Shakespeare plays, a excerpt from Chaucer, and a modern English novel, with no real explanation of context. It may be seen that if this focus is broadened to include a wider selection of important key books from world literature and the European canon, as well as  a better explanation of context, it would do a lot to improve the sense that those in England are part of one unified community and educated, and thus improve social mobility, and do more to improve people’s awareness of the rich and diverse influences from all over the world on English culture.

The books comprising the reading list are as follows:

King James Bible

The Iliad

The Divine Comedy

The Canterbury Tales

The Plays of Shakespeare

War and Peace

The Remembrance of Things Past

Ulysses

The essay includes a reading list, some excepts from each book, and an explanation of why each book is chosen, and why each excerpt is chosen. This essay is intended as a small bound book in itself, intended as a reading list for schools, and for those, at any stage in their lives, feel the need or wish to educate themselves, or improve their education in the ways mentioned above.

The manifesto comprises a distillation of all these ideas and indications as to how society may be improved and social mobility and cohesion improved as a result of these measures.

The novel, as represented on this website, comprises an attempt to distill the above ideas into an entertaining story, in a post-modern idiom, while drawing on the above important texts.