Classic Literature That Changed My Life

They’re called classics for a reason. They have withstood the test of time and made history in the process. Classic literature often refers to a whole other perspective. As opposed to the world that we live in now, where viewpoints and perspectives are a lot more open-minded, classic literature was based on the unthinkable and referenced a society in which things like basic human rights were a luxury, which is why they forced us to dive deep into the darkest side of humanity and confront who we are with it and without it.

Classic literature also reveals our dark history and possibly dark present in a way that whitewashed history books do not. This can be seen in books like The Scarlett Letter, which reveals the way a women’s sexuality was seen back then, or To Kill a Mockingbird, which holds the unfortunately still-present Black men struggle with the biased nature of the law. It also plays with the meaning of morality in a way that only Oscar Wilde and Ursule Le Guin know how to do. All of this is also why so many classic books are being banned in schools.

While books now do entertain us, they have lost their ability to break our minds with metaphors that we need to decipher or controversial topics that insert in us deep analytical skills. There is only a limited number of books now that explore a world in which our subconscious resides, a world with characters that represent a part of our mind we refuse to acknowledge or even a world of infinite philosophies.

Classic books are often hosts of life-changing sentences that need to be deciphered and analyzed in order to reach a complete understanding. This type of literature is scarce nowadays, as well as the metaphoric plots that often accompany such controversial sentences.

These are some classic books that changed my life, challenged my way of thinking, and destroyed my definition of humanity:

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

This book explores the confines of an oppressive mental hospital and introduces characters who could very well live a normal life — a stuttering man, a man resisting homosexual urges, etc. — yet refuse to due to the fact that the evilly portrayed Nurse Ratched has fooled them into thinking that their sickness is incurable. The narrator of this story is a paranoid schizophrenic who pretends to be deaf and mute and also befriends the rebellious hero of the story, McMurphy, who tries to take over the mental hospital and, against all odds, convince the patients around him to rid themselves of the patient-mentality.

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

In this somewhat Gothic fiction book, Oscar Wilde creates a main character that goes against the law of nature and society’s rules as well. Dorian Gray is an immoral character due to his selling of his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. This book’s ending reveals the main character’s ugly nature and regret.

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The main character of this story is a resident of a culturally oppressed society where citizens are hidden from a life where books exist, and firemen don’t put out fires; they burn books. Guy Montag is one of these book-burning firemen at the beginning of the book, and we see his progress in turning from a book-burning fireman to a book-reading rebel. The purpose of the book-burning is to eliminate all sources of complexity, contradiction, and confusion. Yet Montag figures out that a life without that is a life of oppression.

  1. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin

In this short story, Ursula Le Guin portrays a city in which everything is perfect. She leads us through the perfect utopia, where everybody is happy. Which, as we know, is humanely impossible, and then introduces us to the cause of that happiness. The prosperous city depends on the perpetual misery of a single child. This short story challenges the meaning of happiness and deems it as unreachable while also revealing the lengths human beings will go to achieve this impossible state of happiness.


Join Our Mailing List

    Recent Articles

    James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies

    Less than 10 months after the day James Patterson swore a million-dollar promise, he has kept his word. The best-selling novelist announced he has donated about $437,000 to 81 independent bookstores — a gift that completes his plan to donate $1 million of his own money to support independent booksellers.

    K-Pop Stars BTS Will Release a Book Telling Their Own Story in July

    BTS , the notorious K pop boy band , has become a global cultural phenomenon, selling out stadiums and dominating charts around the world, and they just recently revealed that they would be releasing their first book Beyond The Story: 10 Year Record of BTS on July 9 , 2023.

    How Annotating Changed My Reading and Writing

    The great thing about annotating is you might understand the text once you read it, but then it slips your mind as the day goes on. I’m going to ramble on for a few paragraphs about why you should be annotating what you read and how to not just read but understand your assignments on a different level.

    Do We Still Need Libraries?

    With people having more access to the internet in their homes, there is less of a need for libraries from the public. This confronts libraries with the threat of closing. This leads to the question of: do we still need libraries? The short and simple answer is yes, and here is why.

    Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!