The greatest books are great because of a reason. They are defined as classic to be remembered forever. They come with the best literary genre combined with creative minds to bring out a story so unique and authentic that it sticks to your mind for a very long time. And though there are hundreds of novels that make you stick with it, there are only a few that makes you come back.
Here is the list of 5 such books that you must read once in your life.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
‘Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is a classic novel based on the events of Okeechobee, the disastrous hurricane of 1928. It’s Hurston’s acclaimed novel about a black woman’s quest for true love and agency. The way Hurston wrote Janie, the protagonist of her novel reflects a major part of what she feels about being a black woman. Her works are heavily inspired by downtown feminism and the growing traditional discrimination of black people. But more than that it narrates a story of a woman, who ventures tremendous ups and downs in attempting to improve her life for the better, yet in the end is trapped in the vicious cycle of life
The novel explores traditional gender roles and the relationship between men and women. Each character displays an array of emotions and sufferings that made them the way they are.
The issues raised in the novel are particularly a big topic for teenagers, but hopefully, there’s an absolute beauty in the message behind the story. A story about a young girl raised in patriarchy from a young age when she herself could barely understand the depth of the circumstances. It depicts the gender roles and divided relationship of men and women, how one is superior and the other inferior. Trapped in these continuous events makes Janie learn a lot about life but also gives readers a glimpse of broad emotions and a look at prejudice residing in our society.
Pride and Prejudice
As Mr.Darcy approaches Elizabeth’s hand for a dance, it’s not just her heart that bounces off in astonishment, the hearts of the women around the world also starts dancing in joy! It was one of the favorite scenes in the BBC television version of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Delighted by the series, I also read the book the series is based on. It was my very first encounter with Jane Austen and her majestic world of honor and love.
In Pride and Prejudice, even the arrogant and manly Mr.Darcy who initially disliked Elizabeth, allows himself to learn her character. The reason why they both are deeply in love with each other is that each character lets the other improve and learn. For instance, when Mr. Darcy accepts Elizabeth’s refusal politely and naturally helps Elizabeth learn of her love for him.
“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude
“Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it.”
As I sat down reading, I flipped pages to dwell inside the endless magic of Gabriel García Márquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude.’ As far as I remember, the book pulled my imagination to a magical realm, where one could barely imagine him outside the story set by Marquez in his masterpiece.
Spanned across seven generations, One Hundred Years Of Solitude is a hard book to read, but definitely offers rewarding wisdom. The beautiful narration of the book leaves readers with absurdities of its magic realist depiction. The seven generations of the Buendia family go through a series of fortune and misfortunes embodying the entireties of one’s faith and fate.
The generations of the Buendía family are more than unwilling to escape their misfortunes and continue living in solitary while being frequently visited by ghosts. The complex family tree, lust, civil war distress, a fruit massacre followed by an incestuous relationship among the family itself ends with the town of Macondo scoured from existence.
Crime and Punishment
Is there ever, any morally justified reason for committing a crime?
If you ever had come across an investigation for the crime, the first question is always “what was the motive?” the science of criminology seems to get puzzled when we include the dilemmas of morality and motives to the crime. A crime is always outlined by the authenticity and the leverage of the motive, and how a particular act can be murderous as well as heroic. This argument gives rise to another important question- Can a crime be pardoned if the motive is morally good?
The book in its first half explains the moral dilemma of Rodion Raskolnikov (protagonist) for committing a crime. Raskolnikov is an ex-law student living in extreme poverty who sought to kill an elderly pawnbroker and snatch her wealth. The dire situation of poverty, his mother’s sickness, and his sister’s marriage motivate Raskolnikov to act through his heinous thoughts of murder. But after committing the crime, Raskolnikov is completely distressed and soon becomes ill. The book also has a female lead Sonya, who too challenges her dilemma of morality and chastity. Sonya under the influence of her father turns to prostitution to feed her family. Crime and Punishment take us through the journey of crime, run, redemption and retribution.
The Room on the Roof
Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent. His first novel ‘The Room on the Roof’ received the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957 and to date remains one of his best works. The story revolves around a boy called Rusty from Anglo-Indian descent, who struggles to find his identity in a world created by his guardians who want him to grow as a pure Englishman living in India. The dilemma of the young boy who suffers to find his name and longs for freedom. Rusty breaks free of his controlled life when he decides to run away.
As life goes on, Rusty becomes friends with several local Indians and for the first time in his life gets to experience India like never before. If Rusty had not become friends with the people of the bazaar he would never have had all the wonderful experiences in the story. The story also ends on a satisfactory note where he helps another boy of the same fate to break free of the cycle.