Classic literature may have been written years ago, but it still has contemporary relevance. One of the main reasons for this is that they cover universal themes and messages that stand the test of time. Here are some of the best classic books to read for insights that are still relevant to modern readers.
A Modest Proposal by Jonathon Swift
In Modern Proposal, published in 1729, the author uses a unique way to draw people’s attention to the problems. His satirical argument is that the poor Irish should sell their children as food. He suggests this will allow the poor to pay their rent, relieve the parents of a burden, improve the tavern menu, etc. With the argument, he is making a point about how wealthy landowners ‘devoured’ the poor Irish. Poverty and oppression are themes that still have great relevance in society today.
Students at a university campus studying literature cover many classic novels and papers. They may learn in a course or class about “A Modest Proposal” as part of their education. On GradesFixer, they can find examples of essays and research papers about this. These examples can help them when structuring and writing their own essays. If they can’t find a suitable example, they can also contact an expert writer for essay writing help.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre was published in 1847, and Jane was only ten years old at the start of the novel. This is one of the classics to read that can be relatable to young women. The novel takes readers through Jane’s teenage years into her early 30s. It covers her relationships, struggles, and her love for a man.
Some people have suggested that Twilight has some similarities to Jane Eyre. This may be rather a stretch, but it’s not uncommon for modern authors to draw inspiration from classic novels. Edward Rochester and Edward Cullen are similar brooding, Byronic male protagonists that fall in love with a female protagonist. They are also set in isolated locations, cut off from society.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This book, published in 1960, is an enriching story with relevant themes. Scout, a six-year-old girl, tells the story. Her father, Atticus Finch, is widowed and a lawyer.
He defends Tom Robinson, a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman. It is a beautifully written, powerful story that transcends time. It covers issues such as racism, stereotypes, sexism, and the struggles of a widowed man raising children independently. The novel is a very thought-provoking and emotionally gripping story.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
One of the classics to read is written by a woman. It was published in 1823 when writing was primarily considered an unsuitable activity for women. The subject she chose was not one that many women would have chosen. This makes it an exciting read for modern women.
Scientist Victor Frankenstein creates a monster in a strange science experiment. The novel has many gothic and romantic elements, but it also has science fiction elements. Throughout the story, Shelley addresses themes such as birth, class, race, and injustice through what happens to the monster.
The monster has feelings, but it isn’t quite human. What is most relevant to today’s reader is thinking about what can happen when science and technology go too far.
Little Women by Louisa Alcott
This classic coming-of-age story published in 1868 is a great read that centers around four sisters. It takes place during the Civil War and discusses many of the social issues and struggles young women of the time faced.
Where young women of today will connect with the story is that each sister has to face a particular issue and overcome it. Every young woman in every period of time knows what it’s like to face the type of issues they face. The girls develop character through their struggles.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The novel Rebecca was published in 1938 and featured an unnamed woman protagonist. She keeps comparing herself to her husband’s first wife. She questions whether she is worthy of his love and tortures herself by finding herself wanting compared to the appearance of the first wife.
The fact that appearance isn’t the only thing a woman has to offer is an important message for young women to learn. Seeing common insecurities like this in the context of old novels can be an eye-opener.
Classic novels have much to offer because they stand the test of time and cover many topics relevant to people of all ages and backgrounds. With issues like stereotypes, racism, and sexism still evident today, reading these books can provide some enlightening insights.