Read these classic books for timeless lessons

When in high school, it’s easy to get caught up in the little things: especially if they’re a distraction from homework or studying in general. While it’s fun to plan a promposal, go on random Walmart or Target trips, and freak out about the zit on your nose, it’s even more fun to learn life-changing lessons from classic novels and plays you were supposed to be reading while enjoying those other activities.

Let’s be honest, how many of us have actually read the books we were supposed to read for class? The Internet is an endless pit of information, and especially with websites like Shmoop and Cliff Notes, students can now get away with reading summaries and looking up symbolism instead of finding it themselves, but here’s a list of books you simply should read because they teach important life lessons and are honestly just amazing and fun to read.

  1. “Catcher in The Rye” by J.D. Salinger – Not only does “Catcher” perfectly capture the teenage angst and problems we face every day, it also catches a tale of perseverance through the eyes of 17-year-old Holden Caulfield, who sees the world even more dramatic than we do.
  2. “1984” by George Orwell- This novel could not be more timely. With the nation on the brink of a revolution, and many people upset with the way things are going, “1984” is the perfect way to rage against the conformist nation America is slowly turning into and just a fun read in general because of the way it’s almost prophetic of today’s society.
  3. “Lord of The Flies” by William Golding- The struggle for power on an island town between two cliques, what could be more relatable to the high school experience? Golding’s novel is more relatable than students think, especially when you switch “island” for “cafeteria.”
  4. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain- The book, which mainly focuses on a young boy trying to escape major family dysfunction is a good read because you never know what is happening in the homes or lives of your classmates. This is an inside look to a hurt and rejection that could only be imagined by someone not going through it themselves.
  5. “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles- This Greek play is another tale of woe, but it can offer some good dinner conversation with your parents who probably had to read it too. A man murders his father, and accidentally marries his mother. It’s a dark subject matter, and nothing good comes from it, but it’s a fun read.
  6. “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare- The hardest choice to make on this list was “What Shakespeare play to include?,” but at the end of the day, Hamlet is a no brainer. While Hamlet is actually in his 20-30s, he’s best categorized as an angsty teenager who can’t deal with the suspicious death of his father. It’s interesting, I swear.

While these are just my six picks for classics to actually read, you really should read everything a course has to offer. It makes you a better conversationalist and even more knowledgeable when it comes to literature and allusions used in daily life. Happy reading!

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