Tangled Strings

I'm confused as ever how strings are both a object and a class at the same time. I just want to read the actual data from serial port, not the ACSII numerals that refer to them.

Don't use Strings on Arduino, they cause memory problems.

To read serial data, study these introductory guides: Serial input basics http://www.gammon.com.au/serial

a class is a definition of a type or data structure, e.g. the Arduino String class
https://www.arduino.cc/reference/en/language/variables/data-types/stringobject/

the following creates an object s of type class String

 String s="hello";