“For centuries, classic literature has been celebrated for its timeless themes, memorable characters, and enduring messages. But for many modern readers, the idea of diving into a classic novel can be daunting. From dense prose to outdated cultural references, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 classic literature for modern readers. From Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Harper lee’s To kill a mockingbird, these books are sure to transport you to another time and place, while also resonating with the issues and emotions of today.”
10 Classic Literature for Modern Readers
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- The Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This classic novel explores themes of racial injustice and prejudice through the eyes of Scout Finch, a young girl growing up in the South during the 1930s. It is a powerful and thought-provoking read that will resonate with modern readers who are also grappling with issues of racial inequality.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic novel that continues to be widely read and studied, and is considered a masterpiece of American literature. It has been translated into more than 40 languages and has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. The novel is also an Academy Award-winning film in 1962 directed by Robert Mulligan.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Great Gatsby” is set in the summer of 1922, and tells the story of the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his obsession with the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, who is already married. The novel explores themes of wealth, power, and desire, and the way these themes intersect with the American dream. This is also a commentary on the moral decay of the upper class during the 1920s and the disillusionment of the American dream.
The novel is filled with lavish parties, expensive cars, and opulent mansions, which serve to highlight the excess and superficiality of the era. It is a timeless story that still resonates with modern readers, who can relate to the themes of wealth, power, and desire.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
This classic Novel follows the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who has been expelled from his prep school and is wandering the streets of New York City. The novel is written in first-person narrative, and through Holden’s thoughts, feelings and actions, we can see the struggles he faces in trying to find his place in the world. The novel is also an exploration of the themes of alienation, disillusionment, and the loss of innocence. It is a powerful and thought-provoking read that will resonate with modern readers who are also struggling to find their place in the world.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
“Pride and Prejudice” is set in the late 18th century and follows the story of the Bennett family and their five daughters, including the strong-willed Elizabeth Bennett. The novel explores themes of love, marriage, and societal pressure, as the Bennett sisters navigate the expectations and prejudices of 19th-century England.
The novel is filled with witty and satirical commentary on the societal norms and expectations of marriage and love. Austen’s portrayal of the characters’ struggles to find love and happiness in a society that values wealth and status over true love and connection, is still relatable to this day.
The novel also explores the theme of pride and prejudice and how these traits can prevent individuals from recognizing their own flaws and the flaws of others. The characters’ journey towards self-awareness and growth is one of the most striking aspect of the novel.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This is a story of Dorian Gray, a young, handsome and wealthy man who becomes obsessed with his own beauty. He makes a wish to have a portrait painted of himself that will age and show the ravages of time while he remains young and beautiful forever. The novel explores the dangers of vanity and the corrupting influence of beauty and youth, as Dorian becomes increasingly narcissistic and cruel.
The novel also explores the theme of morality, as Dorian descends deeper into immorality and amorality. It also examines the idea of art as a reflection of life, and the way in which art can both reflect and shape the artist’s worldview. The novel also has a strong critique of the society that is obsessed with beauty, youth and wealth.
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is considered a classic of English literature and is widely read and studied. The novel is considered a masterpiece of modern literature and has been adapted into several films, stage productions, and operas. The novel continues to be relevant today, as it explores themes that are still relevant to modern readers who are also grappling with issues of self-obsession, vanity and the price of beauty.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The novel explores the themes of poverty, hardship, and the human spirit, as the Joad family travels west to California in search of a better life. The novel is a powerful and moving story of one family’s struggle to survive in the face of adversity.
One of the most striking aspects of the novel is the way it portrays the harsh realities of poverty and the struggles of the working class. The novel is filled with vivid descriptions of the poverty, hunger, and hopelessness that characterized the Great Depression. The novel is also a commentary on the exploitation of the working class and the failure of the American dream.
The Joad family faces many challenges, but they are able to hold on to their sense of family and their sense of humanity. The novel also explores the theme of hope and the human spirit, as the Joad family remains determined to find a better life despite the odds against them.
The Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This classic novel explores the coming of age of Pip, an orphan boy who is given the chance to rise above his humble beginnings. The novel is filled with vivid descriptions of the poverty, hunger, and hopelessness that characterized the lower classes, as well as the excesses and superficiality of the upper classes. The novel is a coming-of-age story that follows Pip’s growth and development as he learns about the complexities of the world around him. It is a timeless story that still resonates with modern readers, who can relate to the themes of ambition, social class, and the human spirit.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The narrative of Pi Patel, a zookeeper’s son, was written by Yann Martel in 2003. Tragic events occur when the family relocates from India to North America, a process that requires loading up all of their animals onto a Japanese container ship in order to be sell them to zoos in America.
Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger, and Pi become stranded aboard a boat after the ship sinks. The story that follows raises doubts about the perceptions of truth and reality while demonstrating the power of storytelling.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
“Wuthering Heights” is a novel by Emily Bronte, first published in 1847. The story is set in the Yorkshire moors and centers around the tempestuous relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The novel is known for its intense and passionate exploration of love, obsession, and the human heart, and it continues to resonate with readers today for its timeless themes. The novel is considered a classic of English literature and is often studied in schools and universities.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
This is a novel that tells the story of Huck Finn, a young boy who is living in the antebellum South, and his journey down the Mississippi River with an escaped slave named Jim. The novel explores the themes of race and freedom, as Huck and Jim navigate the dangers and challenges of their journey, while also grappling with their own beliefs and prejudices. This is a powerful and thought-provoking read that will resonate with modern readers who are also grappling with issues of race and freedom.
The novel is also a commentary on the hypocrisy of the society that claimed to believe in freedom and democracy, while at the same time, denying those same rights to enslaved people.
The novel also explores the theme of freedom, and the different meanings of freedom for Huck and Jim. Huck’s journey down the river is an exploration of his own personal freedom, as he struggles to reconcile his beliefs and prejudices with the reality of slavery. Jim’s journey is an exploration of his own freedom, as he is determined to escape slavery and find a better life for himself and his family.