Classics is something that will never go out of style because it showcases the themes that are deeply rooted in humanity’s history. Literature isn’t an exception. Today, we’ll discuss five classic books that everyone should read. So, what’s on the list?
Lord of the Flies
A brilliant novel by a British writer, William Golding. First published in 1954, the Lord of the Flies themes are still actual for today’s readers. Here you can find the tension between belonging to the group and being individual, treason, and loyalty, moral and immoral aspects of human life. The plot of Lord of the Flies revolves around a group of boys who happened to be on the distant uninhabited island and their very human attempt to function as a group and govern themselves. This novel often tops the list of the best-written texts in the world and its questioning what democracy is when no one’s watching makes it a subject of many free essays, literary analyses, and political publications.
Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger’s piece that was originally published as a series and in 1951 as a novel wins readers’ hearts and minds to this day. It’s a story that describes a long path of self-identification that every college student can relate to. A 16-year-old Holden Caulfield is searching for his way in life as he gets out of the Californian institution. He recalls his East Coast life, school, and first encounters of the ‘street life’ as he meets the prostitutes, homeless, as well as those who live in the downtown residencies.
‘Catcher in the Rye’ is a great narrative of post-war American society that’s so fragmented and divided. The novel was often banned at schools as it discovers the issues of classes, innocence, sexuality, and depression.
Macbeth by Shakespeare is a classical tragedy that literary education is impossible to imagine without. ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’, as its full title goes, dates back to 1606 and tells a story of a general who received a prophecy about his becoming the king. Obsessed by the concept of power and desire to make the prophecy true, he becomes paranoid about the throne and the crown and commits various crimes, including murders. The five-act play also brings up the topics of tyranny, influence, witchcraft, and superstitions that have a place in politics, and many essay writers use the text to refer to when they write on political themes and dictators.
To Kill a Mockingbird
If you don’t know a thing about racism, here’s the novel that will show all the atrocities of it. Written by Harper Lee in 1960 and set in the 30s Alabama, the story tells about the reflections and observations of Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch after her father was appointed to defend the black man accused of raping a white woman.
Lee used a lot of references from her childhood (like that her father advocated for two men who were accused of murder), though it’s not an autobiographical novel. The story explores the themes of mob mentality, segregation, discrimination, and social consequences of slavery in America, especially when it comes to justice.
The Great Gatsby
This novel is indeed one of the best representations of the Jazz Age society in literature. Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, the novel touches upon the issues of a class clash, flamboyancy, self-made man, American dream, greed, love, jealousy, and obsession.
The story revolves around Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, who doesn’t stop in front of anything to win back the attention of his former love Daisy Buchanan. Intrigues, jealousy, the prohibition era, and high-class lavishness are masterly depicted by the author, who is considered among the best American writers of all time.
The mentioned classic texts not only describe the universal feelings and familiar social orders but also are used by modern writers as a reference as a metatext. Caution, after you read them, you might spot similar themes and plots in postmodern literature, but you will know where it started.