5 Classic Literary Works Everyone Should Read

NNathan October 25, 2023 7:02 AM

We often hear about 'classic literature' and how these works have shaped the world of literature. But what constitutes a 'classic'? In literary terms, a classic is a work that has stood the test of time, offering perennial wisdom and insights that remain relevant across generations. Classic literary works allow us to explore human nature, society, and life in broader perspectives that contemporary works might not provide. Here are five classic literary works that everyone should read, irrespective of age or background.

1. '1984' by George Orwell

George Orwell's 1984 is a dystopian novel that paints a chilling picture of totalitarianism, surveillance, and mind control. Published in 1949, this book has remained a staple on must-read lists due to its insightful commentary on power and individual freedom.

2. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic that explores the themes of racism and moral morality through the eyes of a young girl named Scout. Harper Lee's portrayal of the deep-seated prejudice in a southern town and the fight against injustice remains as relevant today as when it was first published.

3. 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a masterwork of wit, social criticism, and romance. It paints a vivid picture of the gender and class dynamics of its time, yet its themes of love, reputation, and prejudice continue to resonate with readers today.

4. 'Moby-Dick' by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick is an epic tale of a ship's captain and his relentless pursuit of a giant white whale. Herman Melville's classic novel is rich with symbolism and philosophical commentary on life, obsession, and the human condition.

5. 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a captivating exploration of the American Dream's promise and disillusionment. It portrays the hollowness of material wealth and the pursuit of pleasure through its tragic characters and their unfulfilled aspirations.

Here's a quick summary:

Book Title Author Genre Main Themes
1984 George Orwell Dystopian, Political Fiction Totalitarianism, Surveillance, Mind Control
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Southern Gothic, Bildungsroman Racism, Moral Morality
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Romance, Social Satire Love, Reputation, Prejudice
Moby-Dick Herman Melville Adventure, Epic Life, Obsession, Human Condition
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald Tragedy, Social Commentary American Dream, Material Wealth, Pursuit of Pleasure

These five literary works are time-tested classics that provide a deeper understanding of the world and our shared human experiences. They serve as touchstones in literature and life, offering timeless insights that continue to enlighten, inspire, and provoke thought in readers worldwide.

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