7 Eye-Opening Books I'm Glad I Read In High School
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7 Eye-Opening Books I'm Glad I Read In High School

Sometimes being forced to read isn’t bad thing

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7 Eye-Opening Books I'm Glad I Read In High School
Freddie Marriage

While I love to read, I hate reading for assignments. There’s something about being forced to read that takes all of the fun out of it. Still, sometimes being forced to read isn’t a bad thing. There are several books, papers, and articles that I have had to read for classes that ended up having a long-lasting impact on me. The biggest culprit when it comes to assigned reading stems from my high school English classes. While there were books that I loathed, there were a few that stuck out to me and ultimately stuck with me even after high school. Here are seven eye-opening books I’m glad I read in high school that have made all the difference.

1. "The Great Gatsby"

While I probably would have picked up "The Great Gatsby" during some point of my life, I’m so happy that I read this book when I did. F. Scott Fitzgerald does such a good job capturing the roles of women during this time period. Daisy and Jordan appear to be so different at first, but in the end, they are more similar than you think. Also, the companionship between Nick and Gatsby is so powerful it really makes you think.

2. "All the King’s Men"

"All the King’s Men" is a book that got me to take politics seriously. While at 17 I paid attention to the news, I had no idea how unforgiving and twisted politics could really be. The rise and fall of Willy Stark is fascinating as he tries his hardest to gain power and slowly spirals out of control. The impact Willy’s political career has on those around him showcases the harsh realities of politics while still managing to keep you at the edge of your seat.

3. "Fahrenheit 451"

As a book lover, I have a great appreciation for "Fahrenheit 451." Montag’s love for books but a job as a fireman is probably my favorite use of juxtaposition in literature. Plus, Bradbury’s notion that books are worth dying for is something that resonates with me on a personal level. As a society addicted to our phones and social media, the message "Fahrenheit 451" is trying to convey has never been more important.

4. "A Doll’s House"

Nora’s character is what ultimately made me fall in love with "A Doll’s House." In her society, there is so much emphasis on traditional gender roles that women can’t do anything without their husbands or fathers. When Nora is put in a compromising decision, she does what she thinks is right which ultimately leads several complications. While many people question Ibsen’s ending to "A Doll’s House," I still love it. While I know that "A Doll’s House" is a play and not a book, it still doesn’t change the fact that Nora is a headstrong woman and knows what she needs to do.

5. "The Handmaid’s Tale"

"The Handmaid’s Tale" has gained a lot of buzz recently from its award-winning TV series and the complicated political climate. With that being said, this book changed my perspective on several aspects of my life. In "The Handmaid’s Tale," the changes in society are so small that no one really notices them until it’s too late to take a stand. Offred’s story hits too close to home, especially with society’s habits of sexual harassment and the objectification of women.

6. "The Road"

When I think of "The Road" there are so many things that come to mind, ranging from climate change to international relations. While reading "The Road" takes some getting used to, the mystery surrounding the father and the son are what makes the story so captivating. There are so many questions to be answered in such little time and McCarthy’s ambiguity is what makes "The Road" worthwhile.

7. Dante’s "Inferno"

As Dante makes his way through the nine circles of the Inferno, there is so much to be learned from the stories that he is told. While we all have ideas of what happens after we die, Dante epic feels uncomfortably real and tangible. Dante’s "Inferno" is something that really made me stop and examine my character and place in the world. While this epic is not for the faint of heart, Dante’s journey is both insightful and terrifying.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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