Hello everyone and welcome to day 5 of Blogmas. I hope you are having a great holiday season, under the circumstances.
Today we are going over some classics I hope to get to in 2021. I don’t have an actual goal to read a certain number of classics. Every time I make one, I don’t hit it. However, I found in 2019 that I really love French classics, and I really hope to read more of them in 2021. Most of these will be French classics, but I will have a few others! Comment down below what your favorite classic novel is!
As always, please subscribe to be notified via email when I post. At the bottom of this post will be a tag for Blogmas, if you missed any. Comment down below and let me know what kind of classics are your favorite!
Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Madam Bovary is about a woman who is not happy in her marriage, and I think she is just bored with her life. The synopsis reminds me of Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen, which is a play I read in 2019. Both are from the realism era, which is not one of my favorites, but I am excited to try it. Novels from the realism era often end in tragedy and/or someone dying. I took a college course for world literature, and I know I read a story by him. I just don’ remember what.
Synopsis: Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment, and when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations, the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi.’
Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
I really wanted to get to this in 2020. Les Misérables was my last book of 2019, and I would love to read more by the author. It took me twelve days of, what felt like, reading it nonstop. I am much more familiar with this story than I was with that one, and this one is half the size. I just need to pick it up in 2021.
Synopsis: This extraordinary historical novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation. Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony, it is a work that gives full play to Victor Hugo’s brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Third book and third french classic. I am excited to try Dumas. I juggled between this one and Three Musketeers. Dumas is an Afro-latino author of the Romantic era. This one follows Edmond who is wrongfully imprisoned. I believe he wants to escape and get revenge.
Synopsis: Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.
Don Juan by Moliere
I have heard of this story before. However, I had no idea it was written by Moliere. I previously read Tartuffe by Moliere, and I would love to give another one of his works a shot.
Synopsis: Dom Juan or The Feast with the Statue by Molière is a five-act French comedy based upon the Spanish legend of Don Juan Tenorio. The aristocrat Dom Juan is a rakehell who seduces, marries, and abandons Elvira, discarded as just another romantic conquest.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I have 38 friends on Goodreads that have read this book, and all but two gave it 3 stars or higher. I think the odds are in my favor to love it. I have been spoiled for the ending, but I really don’t even know what it is about.
Synopsis: The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream — a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s short story Recitatif was on the list of stories I read during my world literature class. I am intrigued to read a book by her, as that story was very interesting. Recitatif followed two girls, of different races, but the author kept their races a secret. It follows them in an orphanage together as kids, and then later in life when they meet again. It is a very powerful story, and I think Bluest Eye will be, too. I know someone is planning on doing a year-long Toni Morrison readalong, and I want to be a part of it.
Synopsis: The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways.
What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Toni Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
I first heard of this one when the voting went up for The Reading Rush, which most people didn’t know about. Despite all the mess that went on for that, I heard of this book then. I really hoped it would win, and I knew I would eventually get to it. It is really short, and I just need to get to it in 2021!
Synopsis: The House on Mango Street covers a year in the life of Esperanza Cordero, a young Chicana girl living in an impoverished Chicago neighborhood with her parents and three siblings. The book opens with Esperanza, the narrator, explaining how her family first arrived on Mango Street.
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