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Four Must-Read Classics to Add to your Bucket List 29 December, 2020   

I won't call myself a ravenous or effective reader, but some books compel you to stick until the end, no matter how long it takes. Here I’ll talk about four such must-read classics, which has made me impatient like me, who tends to get bored easily to sit through the whole book for hours. Now the thing is, not every reader has the same taste. I often have started a, let's say, bestseller book and found it not very entertaining. Thus, the list which I’m going to provide consists of selected classics which will surely entertain you and reading the brief account, you can choose if the book matches your taste or not, sounds good?

Classics are books that have stayed with readers of all ages over the years. No matter how early they have been written, they’re always relevant and amusing. These books have been standing the test of time, which is why I think they are a must-read classic; I bet one of them is already on your wish list.

01. FRANKENSTEIN BY MARY SHELLEY

I feel this one particular book in the history of all classics needs no introduction or review. You already know about this classic. You may not know who exactly Frankenstein is, or you may also think Frankenstein is a monster( no comments here, read the book to understand more!)

But I bet you've at least heard about it. About the author, Mary Shelley is known widely for Frankenstein, and she has also edited works of her husband, the renowned poet P.B Shelley. Published in 1818 (yes, more than 200 years ago), Frankenstein is a novel that is way ahead of its time and arguably the first to incorporate scientific technology in its narrative. Mary conceived the story in her dreams and narrated the tale of a young scientist who ends up creating a grotesque monster as his scientific experiment goes wrong. Several movies adapted this novel in their own ways, cartoons and plays over the years where it is generally interpreted as a scientific experiment backfiring, resulting in the formation of a monster who destroys the life of the protagonist and also the creator of the monster, Victor, inducing sympathy towards him in the minds of the audience. But once you delve deeper into the novel, it’ll be clear how the narrative defies the common interpretation. That is why, in my opinion, one should always read the original novel or book before forming an opinion based on movies. A woman writing such a brilliant yet twisted narrative was not appreciated or accepted during its release. Still, Mary Shelley remains one of the most powerful figures in the world of literature, inspiring the creation of a whole new writing genre – science fiction.


02. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE

A confession: after reading this book, I thought of naming my future child after the protagonist, Atticus Finch. Such has been the impact of it on me. Considered a classic of modern American literature, To Kill A Mockingbird was an immediate success upon release. This novel is written by another dynamic female author in the history of literature, Harper Lee. The book is set in the 1930s when America was in the midst of the Great Depression resulting in economic recession and the American dream's death. Atticus Finch is an unconventional hero and role model because of his moral sense rather than physical capabilities. As an effect of the Great Depression, Atticus Finch’s dream of living in an equal, morally decent society was fading away too. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is based on various themes, including racism, law, southern lifestyle, class distinction, gender distinction, morality, compassion, but I found “Loss of innocence” the most central theme in the novel. Lee here uses the mockingbird as a symbol of innocence. Mockingbirds are harmless creatures who, in the words of Miss Maudie, a character from the novel, “don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.” The climax is based on the moral fact that "To Kill a Mockingbird" or harm the innocent is a mortal sin. This novel is followed by Go, Set a Watchmen, another must-read classic which was originally completed in 1957 but was released in 2015. The plot is set 20 years later from the time the events in To Kill a Mockingbird take place but is not a continuation of those events. 


03. WUTHERING HEIGHTS BY EMILY BRONTE

So you don’t like romantic stories, do you? Well, this gothic novel might change your idea of romance and tragedy altogether. Wuthering Heights is the only novel of author Emily Bronte, sister of another renowned author Charlotte Bronte. However, this isn’t labeled the first Gothic novel, but Wuthering Heights is famous. If you ask me why I loved this book, I’ll say what’s not to love about a brooding hero and a doomed love? But I must say you must be very patient to read this book in which there is endless suffering for no good reason. There will be moments when you feel why you started reading this book, but that does not mean this is an F grade book or even an average book. Wuthering Heights is anything but average. You’ll be left utterly confused after reading it, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Critics at the time of it’s were thoroughly impressed by the imaginative power she held but were also awestruck by the details. 

To summarize, I'll say Charlotte was the sanest one of the Bronte sisters, but if you don't include this book in your must-read classics list, you’ll not understand the feeling of loving and hating a book at the same time.


04. THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL BY ANNE FRANK

You might not know a lot about the Holocaust, but I bet you have heard about Anne Frank and her famous diary. Yes, it is your classic “Dear Diary” followed by a narration of her life- but she also did not get the chance of leading a regular life like any ordinary teenager. This diary begins with a gift on her 13th birthday (12 June 1942), and the first letter starts on that day itself. The diary is in the account of her short-lived life and her family who lived in Frankfurt, Germany, and how they had to give up everything and go into hiding after Hitler and the Nazi Party came into authority during the second world war. They escaped and went to Amsterdam in hiding along with other Jewish families. The diary came to a sudden end on 1 August 1944. It is heart-wrenching to see how a lively family has torn apart due to the political climate. The book carries a message with it that how every individual has the right to survival. Cast, creed, race, religion – these are barriers created by us. We don’t have the right to treat someone differently because of the choice of religion. Her diary enlightens about hardships people have to go through while remaining in hiding. We don’t know the value of hunger, what it is to be hungry, or how it feels when death is lurking around us all the time. This diary reminds us of the haunting experience these people had to go through just because they were Jews. I would recommend this to strong-minded people who also have an interest in history and war.


In conclusion, I’d like to say these must-read classics cannot be narrowed down to 4 or 5 books. After going through this list, one might say I’m a feminist, but what can I say. Some of the great minds in the history of classics are of strong female authors. Heaven knows how many books I've to read, but if you're an amateur, then I'd suggest you start with these books.

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