Some of us have memories of sitting in the library delicately turning those yellowing pages bound in a hardcover. Classics have the power to take us away from our surroundings, and in a flash put our senses into a story from a hundred years back. But as soon as the story is about to finish, the reality dawns upon us. Worry not, this summer stop scrolling mindlessly and give yourself the pleasure of diving back in history with classic reads.
Classics Reading list: Here are the 5 classics that you should revisit:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
You’ll be in awe of Jane Austen for the next 2-3 days, after finishing this novel. It is not because the plot ends in a happy ending but because a curtain of prejudice from your mind will itself be removed from your mind. Austin’s understanding and representation of the class-based hierarchy in the English society of 18th century is second to none. Her solid humour and wit will astonish you and you will find yourself applauding Austen’s skills, in writing satire and irony. It is a kind of book to which you’ll return again and again until all the classic dialogues dwelled in the back of your head.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens weaved the imperfect nature of humans into the most perfect form in this book. The amount of care Dickens took in crafting both his characters and story is tender yet made of steel. The first-person narrative in Great Expectations makes you feel that Pip is sitting just beside you and telling you his entire story word by word, emotions by emotions. Not an inch of the plot is exaggerated and that is why it will move you as a human being yourself. In the older version, you might not be happy with the ending, but if you find yourself in search of the happily ever after go for the re-edited version by dickens. Nevertheless, the words and sentences in the book are themselves capable to touch your heart.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Warning: Your principles of individuality will tighten their grip around you as you’ll find yourself finishing it. Charlotte Brontë in her book spoke for the entire womankind of the Victorian era through the words of her protagonist. Without sugar coating neither the duality of society nor Jane’s, she painted the grey picture as it was. Depicted as a strong feminist symbol, arguing through the whole novel that women should be free to fulfil their desires, express their true natures, and chart their own destinies charlotte gave the oppression of women a voice through Jane. There will be moments in the book when you will want to shout your lungs out to the misfortune acted upon Jane, but take that you’ll get your happy ending because storms and snakes aren’t able to break Jane’s bone. So, fasten your setbelt, because from the first page till the last you’ll be on a rollercoaster ride.
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
If you desire to find a novel, where no character is likeable then Wuthering Heights is your go-to. Not a single one of them is particularly admirable, and one aspect of their unpleasant natures is their ability to hide the truth. The unreliable narrator phenomenon could be widely-recognized in Emily Brontë’s only published book. As a reader, you have to read between the lines to guess what might really be going on and that is the real genius of the book. A personal suggestion is that if something, at first sight, appears as an improbable, unbelievable event it isn’t actually weak storytelling, it’s a clear sign to the reader that a character is lying. The drama of the story is driven by some and perhaps many unstated misunderstandings, and this is why to some people, all the destructive passion is utterly incomprehensible, whereas others are absolutely hooked. But in the end, your love of Wuthering Heights will emerge from the realisation that it’s stark and This isn’t romance. Sadly, a very realistic account of a dysfunctional family.
Louisa Alcott uses her words to represent women in a way they have never seen before. In a way, you will find that Little Women was the most real book about women that had ever been written plus the stereotypes. In a society where marriage was a women’s only chance of success, Alcott created Jo to be a breath of fresh air but still in the end gave in to this limited perspective. The omniscient third-person narrative, though usually used to distance readers from the events of the novel, adds even more depth to Alcott’s defined characters. The realistic depiction of the characters and peeling the layers of their characters make the plot much and much more interesting. Even though you can give it a read for entertainment purposes or if you wish you can take it as an account of a feminist character in a patriarchal society.
Suggested Reading: How Important Is It To Write Inspiring Women Stories In Young Adult And Children Books?
The views expressed are the author’s own. The list is indicative and not exhaustive.