Classic literature does more than provide intellectual conversation topics. The classics are still ever present sources of numerous culture references, college assignments, and of course, rich vocabulary. Reading is an enthralling way of naturally learning new vocabulary words and phrases, while simultaneously relaxing and enjoying a good book. Check out these classic novels for a richer, more developed English vocabulary and speak English eloquently.
The Scarlet Letter
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
This scholastic classic has charmed school classes for decades. The novel is set in Puritan Boston, USA. Hester Prynne is shamed by the community for having a child with an unknown man she isn’t married to. Hester lives on the outskirts of Boston while her alleged lover begins to deteriorate from the emotional stress and strain of keeping his secret from the community. Hester’s long lost husband has made a new home in Boston and seeks revenge by making life more unbearable for both Hester and her past lover.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: congregated, ponderous, inauspicious, portal, physiognomies, agony, ominous, consolation, and more
By George Orwell
In this highly symbolic novel, a farm of animals take control over the farm from the oppressive humans. The animals create a peaceful farm where all animals are considered equal. The pigs assume leadership and at first, the farm prospers as all the animals work together. However, overtime, the pigs begin to fight each other for power and control over the farm. Soon, one pig asserts power to rule them all, and chaos ensues.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: cynical, daintily, mincing, comrades, tyrant, toil, unison, boars, rebellion, disheartened, artificial, and more.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
By Oscar Wilde
Dorian Gray, a wealthy young man, sits for a portrait by a talented artist. Dorian verbally wishes that the portrait would suffer the consequences of ageing, and he would remain young forever. Miraculously his wish comes true. This perpetual youth causes Dorian to live a life full of sin and vanity. As he continues to live his life in shameful ways, his portrait shows his true self: ugly, cruel, and ageing. Soon enough, Dorian must suffer the consequences of his selfish lifestyle.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: murmur, monotonous, rugged, fatality, cynicism, conscience, immortality, indignation, dreadfully, and more.
The Count of Monte Cristo
By Alexandre Dumas
This lengthy novel is best left for advanced English readers. Dantes, a young sailor, is wrongfully imprisoned by a few of his jealous shipmates. After spending years in an isolated prison, he finally escapes! Dantes experiences wild adventures on his path to regain a new, untainted name for himself. Once he is finally back in society, Dantes sets out on a plan to ruin the lives of all those jealous shipmates who imprisoned him many years ago.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: vigilant, basin, eagerly, intention, occupied, invalid, restore, notary, vigor, dispose, inquire, and more.
Lord of the Flies
By William Golding
A plane carrying a group of young British boys crashes on a deserted island. While on the island, the boys must learn to hunt for food, build shelter, and elect a leader. Tensions being to rise as the fight for power continues. Eventually, the boys begin to go insane on the island. The increasingly unstable power dynamics mixed with the raging insanity of the boys brings trouble for everyone on the island.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: gesture, reef, ambition, clambering, fragments, incompetence, cautiously, knelt, savage, and more.
By Ray Bradbury
In a futuristic American society, Guy Montag lives in a world where books are banned. Montag’s job is to set fire to books and houses containing books. Soon, Montag grows curious as to what these books contain and why he must burn them. This curiosity grows more dangerous as Montag begins to realize that life without books is limiting progress for all of society.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: swarm, insane, illumination, glanced, vague, asylum, sheath, kennel, accusation, and more.
The Secret Garden
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary, a young spoiled girl raised in India, is sent to live with her uncle in England. At first, Mary is intolerable due to her tantrums and spoiled attitude. However, Mary soon finds the alleged secret garden on the property of her uncle’s mansion. By spending time in this secret garden, Mary begins to heal not only herself, but also the friends she made in the mansion.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: disdaining, imploringly, cholera, bewilderment, vexed, ceased, rattled, exaggerated, and more.
Anne of Green Gables
By Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne, a young girl in a Canadian orphanage, is mistakenly sent to the home of the Cuthberts to work as farm help. On the journey to return Anne to the orphanage, Mary Cuthbert has a change of heart and decides to keep Anne anyway. Anne’s whimsical personality and talkative nature contributes to her many adventures she has while living at Green Gables.
You will be exposed to vocabulary such as: traversed, conscious, rigid, sympathetic, deftly, hinder, fate, relapsed, pondered, superfluous, and more.
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