25 August 2015

Classics For A Reason | 2 Classic Reads

Reading has always been one of my favourite past times. I love getting lost in a story, and having characters steal my heart and pull me into a whole other world. I love all types of books, and being a lover of things that are old and vintage, it makes sense that a lot of my favourite books are old classics. In this post, I'm going to share with you 2 of my favourite classic books that I recommend to anyone who loves reading.

The Great Gatsby is without a doubt one of my favourite books of all time. Published in 1922, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fizgerald, follows the lives of a captivating set of characters and their lives in 1922, aka the 'roaring 20s'. The novel is written from the point of view of narrator Nick Carraway, and centres around the mysterious Jay Gatsby and his love Daisy Buchanan. The novel sees Gatsby trying to win back Daisy, a woman who he was in love since 1917. Nick, Daisy's cousin, moves into West Egg alongside Gatsby, while Daisy and her husband Tom live across the bay in East Egg. Having married someone else years before, Daisy lives across the bay from the mysterious Gatsby, and the book tells the tale of his lavish lifestyle and the ways in which he tries to get her back. The book is incredible. Love, romance, scandal, wealth, crime, they all have a role in this book, which means there is something for everyone.

There are many themes running throughout it; love, social class, wealth, corruption and the American dream, to name a few. This is part of which makes the book so enticing and hard to put down, there is so much going on that it is never boring. Some themes are bluntly shown, such as the split between social class. 'Old money' (those born into wealth, a la Daisy), bliving on one side f the bay and 'new money' (money earned rather than inherited, a la Gatstby) living on the other. Some themes are more cleverly hidden, such as Fitzgerald's use of the lavish nature of the roaring 20s t highlight the decline of the American dream. The American dream symbolises the pursuit of happiness, and in the books he highlights how corruption can allow people to make easy money and lead to more corruption and materialism. That is part of why I love this book so much, the simplest of things it described and written in the most interesting anf dun way, I am never bored when reading this book.

Fitzgerald done a marvellous job when writing this book, I can't find a single fault with it. The characters are completely captivating, Gatsby more than any. The way in which characterisation is used to bring these people to life is amazing, whenever I read it I get so lost in the book it feels as though it is real. The story is told beautifully, with clever and surprising plot twists thrown in at key points to keep the story fresh. Even the characters you hate, you come to have a 'love hate' relationship with, as it is so cleverly written.

The 20s is a an era that I love, and being set in this particular era, the book quickly became a real love of mine. From the jazz music and flapper fashion, to the bootlegging and seedy, yet cleverly hidden crime, this novel really does have it all from me. Fitzgerald manages to cleverly, and plausibly make Gatsby's criminal actions, somehow love him even more. The book is written in such a way, that you are educated as you read, if you don't know much about the roaring 20s when you start, you will by the time you finish reading this book.

Of Mice And Men was written by John Steinbeck and published in 1937. The book tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two farm workers who move from place to place during the Great Depression of the 1930s in search of work. The main theme of the story is that of friendship.

George is a small, intelligent man who is best friends with Lennie. Lennie is a much larger and stronger man, but unlike George, he has substantial difficulty learning and adapting to things, leaving George as his protector. The pair find work on a mall ranch. The friends share a dream of one day owning a small piece of land where they can live and work. A key part of their dream is Lennie being allowed to tend to some rabbits, as he has a love of stroking soft things. They meet a man named Curly whilst working at the ranch, who offers them three hundred and fifty dollars towards the cost of their land provided he can come live with them. The trios plans go bad when an incident with one of the boss' wife leaves Lennie in serious trouble from murder. Although it was an accident due to Lennie's inability to comprehend his own strength, the group are still after him, which leaves George with the heartbreaking task of getting to Lennie before they do.

I adore this book because it plays on some great themes, such as social class and friendship. Steinbeck has written this book beautifully, and created two main characters who really work well with the storyline. His characterisation was on point, creating two very lovable characters. George is an intelligent and witty character who contrasts well to the very lovable, and heartwarming character of Lennie.

The book has some good themes and plot twists throughout it, and it really is a great book to get into, and I love it, it's amazing.

What is your favourite book?
Do you like classic books?

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