Classics are books that have issues and ideas that span across time, influence other works to come, and make people question their beliefs. While classics are no doubt influential, some seem out of date and no longer containing issues of the world today.
I asked a few friends of mine to help me compile a list of classics that they enjoyed reading so as to make this post a tad less biased. Some people may be dissuaded not to read classics because they find them either long and boring or unrelatable but, these are some that I believe are worth a read!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
This is one of the ultimate bildungsroman about a young girl in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. This is a book that will appeal to many people as it follows Francie growing up and maturing. Some may argue that nothing truly happens in this novel but, the beauty of this book is in the simplicity of the plot but the complexity of Francie. While this book is not my favorite on this list, I do believe it is a sweet story and one that I will always remember reading.
This is another coming of age story(as many books seem to be) but it is done so eloquently and it is a book that has the ability to resonate and hold a spot in everyone’s heart. The division in social classes between the rich socs and the impoverished greasers is a focal theme and a general summary of the book as a whole. Ponyboy(despite his unfortunate name) is one of my favorite literary characters of all-time. He lives in a world where everyone seems to think everything is black and white and learns to understand that nobody is all good or all bad. This was an unexpected read for me and in no way could have predicted that I would be bawling at the end.
To Kill A Mockingbird
When you read some classics many years after they were originally published, it can be hard to relate to and find some common ground but; To Kill A Mockingbird has resonated themes of racial prejudice and injustice that pertain to our world today. In short, the book is about Atticus Finch trying to prove the innocence of a black man in the South in the 1930’s. On the surface, this may seem to be very predictable but Harper Lee managed to tell this story through the eyes of a young child which helps bring nuance. To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic for a reason as it focuses on the injustices of racism and teaches , readers, a message of walking in somebody’s shoes before making predetermined judgments.
Anne of the Green Gables
Anne Shirley, the protagonist of this (yep you guessed it)coming of age book, is feisty and stubborn but also imaginative and true to herself. Is it possible not to fall in love with her?
Anne of the Green Gables tells the story of the adventures of Anne after she is mistakenly adopted. Despite the fact that Anne of the Green Gables is a series, this book can be read and appreciated as a stand-alone. It’s often hard to find a character like Anne in literature so we must hold on to Anne’s goodness and her ability to find the best in the worst situations.
“It was a pleasure to burn.” One of my favorite opening lines that really sums up the entirety of this dystopian novel. This book is all about books and the importance of books!! Without spoiling too much, Guy Montag is a fireman in a society where they burn books and he is starting to question that policy. This book is really something and like nothing, I have read before. This is yet again another classic that will stay with you long after,slowly creeping into your thoughts!
The Great Gatsby
The infamous expression “money can’t buy happiness” is best shown in this book where everyone is obsessed with wealth. That with the concept of the American dream brings this book to another level and makes it deeper than any other love story.
The definition of a tragic love story is defined by the Great Gatsby along with the theme that the American dream is unattainable. So why is the Great Gatsby such a great classic if it seems to be all misery? The Great Gatsby has the allure of being set in the roaring twenties as one of its highlights. The flappers, the wild parties, and the jazz culture of this era all contribute to the tone of this novel. The roaring twenties are one of the most fascinating periods which, is depicted throughout the entire novel. The Great Gatsby is also a book with many good life lessons and ideas and thoughts that will leave the readers thinking long after they finished the last page. It is hard to capture in words how enticing this book is and it is best just to read it and figure it out for yourself.
One of the stories almost everyone has heard about (also sometimes known as the modern Prometheus ) a young scientist who creates a creature in a scientific experiment. This book’s rendition of greek mythology makes the readers really ponder and reflect and, it is not as simple and basic as it may seem from an outsider’s perspective. The struggle between the gray area of good and evil is a theme in this novel and provokes thought.
Pride and Prejudice
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Pride and Prejudice is a phenomenal book. Where to begin on this book that has impacted so many books after it and continues to do so. The language, the witty dialogue along with good insults and, the numerous iconic quotes all contribute to the eloquent and sophisticated writing style of this novel. All the characters are well written and the Bennet family could easily have been a 90’s sitcom family with all their contrasting personalities laced with drama and also, their strong family bond(Claudia Connor 7 Reasons You Need To Drop Everything To Read “Pride and Prejudice”). Elizabeth Bennet is one of the most beloved female characters in literature which is because of her stubbornness, her affection for her family, and for being such a strong female presence at that time. Elizabeth is a role model to us all and Pride and Prejudice couldn’t have had a more likable and intriguing main character. While this book may just seem like another generic
love story it is, really about family and societal class and how love can overcome social class and wealth.
“My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”
“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.”
Do you agree or disagree with these choices? There are many other classics that did not make this list because there are too many but, these are some of the highlights! Anyone would like to see a part two with classics not worth reading?…..