Literature more commonly refers to writings that are considered to be in an art form especially if it’s a work of fiction, drama or poetry. Although the themes and styles of writing keep changing with the passing years, some books have really established themselves as gems of the literature world. Here are some of the greatest Novels ever written:
Our Favourite Novels of All Times:
The Great Gatsby (1925):
The story of the book mostly follows the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his unrealistic obsession to reunite with his ex-lover Daisy Buchanan. It’s been almost a century since The Great Gatsby was published and yet it feels like the novel is talking about the society we are in now rather than the one we were in then. The Novel’s portrayal of materialism, superficial relationships and the scenes of fame and celebrity life is what makes it so relevant to the present times. Gatsby’s desire for wealth was driven by his love for Daisy Buchan. He was born poor and rose to fame and wealth. This is why Gatsby is called an embodiment of the American Dream. These days everyone strives to achieve more wealth and a higher social status, making the novel relevant to modern times.
The Catcher In The Rye (1951)
The Novel follows two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield after he has been expelled from prep school. Confused and disappointed, Holden searches for truth and goes up against the insincerity of the adult world. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger has been a topic of discussion ever since it came out. It has remained a bestseller and also one of the most challenged books written. Though, the influence of the book has remained strong throughout the years, as the story relates to teenage angst. Almost everyone goes through a phase while growing up and they need a source of comfort and support to understand their feelings and get through the phase. This book has been that source to countless people and still continues to be which is why it still holds so much importance.
To Kill A Mockingbird (1960):
To Kill A Mockingbird centers around Atticus Finch’s attempts to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, a black man who has been wrongly accused of raping a white woman in 1930s Alabama. The main theme of the novel is nature of human beings, the co-existence of good and evil. It shows the transition of how children think all people are good to a more adult perspective where they encounter people with negative or evil intentions. This type of theme will probably remain relevant till the end of time as everyone goes through this experience while growing up.
Another main theme in the Novel is that every human being deserves to be treated with respect. One of the most famous quotes from the novel is: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Great Expectations (1861):
Great Expectations follows the childhood and young adult years of Pip. He is suddenly given a large fortune (his great expectations) from a mysterious supporter and moves to London where he enters high society. Throughout the story, Charles Dickens has explored various themes. However, the ones that stand out are our expectations from our lives and the fact that affection and sincerity are more important than wealth and status. It reminds us of the importance of family and the consequences of neglecting familial relations. As a saying goes, “There are people so poor that the only thing they have is money,” Great Expectations teaches us that while saying money does not buy happiness may not be true in some cases, it’s still not worth losing your loved ones over it. This message is still relevant in today’s time since even now people chase after wealth and status without looking back even once.
Crime And Punishment (1866):
Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental deterioration and moral clashes of Rodion Raskolnikov, a poor ex-student in Saint Petersburg who makes a plan to kill an immoral pawnbroker for her money. Crime and Punishment was written more than a century ago but its message and themes are no less relevant now than they were back then. The main theme of the story is guilt. It goes into the idea that killing might never be justified because even if you have an acceptable reason why you killed someone, would you still be able to move on and life normally? Even if you had to kill one person to save five, would you be able to life with the guilt of killing that one person? In today’s times, violence is so casually shown in our movies and games but it doesn’t show the effects of using that violence. It doesn’t show the guilt and isolation you face from the world. This is why Crime and Punishment is so relevant despite being published so long ago.
We at Daastan are obsessed with these classics. The fact that they were written decades ago but can still teach us how to help ourselves and our society is enough to say that they’re truly timeless pieces. They will probably still be the greatest books written in the next centuries as well. We hope that one of our Pakistani Novels enters this list soon!