By Alexa Stephens
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This novel is told from the perspective of writer and wall street trader Nick as he navigates through life during the summer of 1922 in Long Island.
Conveniently housed as a neighbor to the secretive Jay Gatsby, Nick is thrust into a world of elaborate parties, wild affairs and unrequited love.
Although merely a bystander, Nick watches as a series of troubling events unravels, ruining lives and revealing secrets he never anticipated.
“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This historical drama takes place in the Puritan town of Boston, Massachusetts and follows social outcast, Hester Prynne.
Shamed and rejected by her community for committing adultery, Hester lives on the outskirts of town with the child of her sin, Pearl.
Emphasizing community values, this story reveals the difficulties Hester has with forgoing what society has taught her in exchange for the chance to live a happy life.
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain
Published in the 1880’s, this satirical novel follows the literal and figurative journey of Huckleberry Finn.
Escaping the boring nature of civilized life, Huck runs away.
He quickly runs into a slave, Jim, who is heading towards Illinois, a free state.
Together the two travel through towns and situations, both trying to gain their different ideas of freedom.
“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
This dystopian novel describes a future American society in which books and literature are outlawed, being burned if found.
Guy Montag, a firefighter, begins to question the law as he witnesses secretive disappearances and tragic suicides of those with free-thinking ideals and those who refuse to leave their books behind.
Intrigued by the idea of books and knowledge, Montag begins to collect any books he finds, disobeying the law and going against the very means of his job.
However, he is soon outed and must choose to live a life of monotonous leisure or to fight for the books that he used to burn.
“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
This allegorical novel, published in 1954, focuses on a group of young British boys stranded on an island and forced to fend for themselves.
This story follows an interesting trail of a type of government created amongst the group that quickly turns into a brutal war between two sides that have formed.
Vicious acts that show the young boys to be animal-like are carried out until they are found and quickly turn back to their civilized, scared selves leaving a questioning impact on the naval officers that rescue them about the willingness to turn violent.
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