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1984More than any other novel, George Orwell's 1984 revolutionized the genre of dystopian fiction. Written as a caution against totalitarianism, 1984 had a lasting influence on the way modern society began to think about power and ideological control.
A&PJohn Updike is known for his small-town, middle class American settings. His short story A&P takes its title from the grocery where the protagonist works. The story provides a glimpse into the repression of life in suburbia.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a young adult novel by Native American author Sherman Alexie, is a semi-autobiographical memoir of Alexie’s own efforts to escape the downward spiral of reservation life.
Alias GraceAlias Grace is one of Margaret Atwood's most haunting novels. Based on the story of Grace Marks, a maid convicted of murdering her employer, Atwood inserts the fictional character Dr. Simon Jordan, whose goal is to understand Grace's motives.
AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a love story about two young Nigerians who seek to escape the oppressive military rule of 1980s Nigeria. The novel explores the difficulties of long-distance relationships tested by a prolonged absence and also deals with issues of race, identity, and immigration
Animal FarmWritten as a scathing critique and satire of Stalinism, George Orwell said that Animal Farm represented his first attempt to "fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole." The book would become a success during the Cold War era.
Annabel LeeOne of the last poems Edgar Allan Poe ever wrote, "Annabel Lee" is notable for its subject matter: the death of a beautiful woman. Poe frequently made use of this theme, and in "Annabel Lee" his love for the woman transcends her death.
AnthemLike many of her works, Ayn Rand's novella Anthem faced criticism upon its release, but acquired a significant readership nonetheless. The story takes place in a futuristic society where individuality is completely repressed in favor of the collective will.
Anthem For Doomed YouthWilfred Owen's poem "Anthem For Doomed Youth" is a saddening reminder of the impact of World War I on England's young soldiers. Owen's disillusionment with the war motivated the poem's critique of the reckless destruction of lives and loss of innocence.
AntigoneThe third in Sophocles' trilogy of Theban plays, Antigone deals with the titular heroine's decision to defy the law and bury her slain brother. Themes such as loyalty to family and the relationship between choices and consequences feature heavily.
The AwakeningKate Chopin's novel The Awakening is widely analyzed by feminist scholars. It tells the story of Edna, a woman who explores identities beyond those of wife and mother. Chopin's writing techniques also influenced those used by future modernist writers.
Barn BurningWilliam Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning" is a prime example of the author's shrewd talent for parsing human relationships and the interests that govern them. The story is about the arrival of the notorious Abner Snopes and his family at a small town.
Bartleby the Scrivener"Bartleby the Scrivener" is Herman Melville's most enigmatic story. It concerns a copywriter who one day tells his employer that he would prefer not to do a task he has been assigned. This refusal continues until the story reaches a perplexing ending.
Because I Could Not Stop For DeathEmily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" has long been hailed as a poetic masterpiece. Dickinson uses personification to narrate the account of the speaker's carriage ride with genteel Death and silent Immortality.
The Bell JarWritten as a confessional, first-person narration, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar is a harrowing story of a young woman's battle with the expectations of society and her own faltering mental health. Plath committed suicide a month after it was first published.
BeowulfOne of the oldest surviving works of Old English literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that tells the story of the protagonist Beowulf and his heroic conquests. Neither the author of the work nor its date of origin are known.
The Black CatLike many of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, "The Black Cat" deals with guilt, morality, and madness. In the story, the narrator speaks of his relationship to his pet black cat.The cat is instrumental to his downfall as a murderer and a madman.
Brave New WorldA classic of dystopian fiction, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World presents a government-controlled, highly stratified society where emotions are blunted and people are distracted from critical thought by the pursuit of pleasure and mindless entertainment.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, the Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel by Dominican American author Junot Díaz, intertwines stories to tell of the often violent history of the Dominican Republic through three generations of the Cabral family.
The Call of the WildJack London's The Call of the Wild is a genre-defying tale of a domesticated dog who is stolen and put to use as a sled dog for the Klondike gold miners. He then fights for dominance in the pack and learns to survive in the Canadian wilderness.
The Cask of AmontilladoEdgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is one of the works that most contributed to Poe's image as a writer of grotesque tales of horror. The story is about an Italian nobleman who immures a former friend, ostensibly for having insulted him.
The Catcher in the RyeFamous for its cult status in popular culture, The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most widely read and influential American novels. Its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is known for his cynical narration and his dislike of phony adult life.
Cathedral"Cathedral" is one of Raymond Carver's most lauded short stories. In it, a blind man asks an unsympathetic narrator to describe a cathedral to him, resulting in the narrator's sudden understanding of the blind man's perspective.
The Charge of the Light BrigadeLord Alfred Tennyson's "The Charge of Light Brigade" was Inspired by an ill-conceived charge that killed almost half of the British light cavalry during the Crimean War. Tennyson glorifies the soldiers’ bravery while deploring the mistake that sent them to their deaths.
The ChrysanthemumsIt did not take long for John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" to garner critical acclaim. The protagonist, a woman who takes special fondness in her flowers, is manipulated by a migrant tinker, leading to a quietly profound ending.
The Color PurpleIn her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple, Alice Walker weaves together the effects of racism, sexism, and poverty on the lives of three black women in early 20th century America. It was turned into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg.
Crime and PunishmentCrime and Punishment is considered one of the most important novels in modern literature and also one of Dostoyevsky's finest works. The novel concerns the struggles of ex-student Raskolnikov, and his attempt to transcend the boundaries of morality.
The CrucibleConceived as a critique against the dangers of McCarthyism, Arthur Miller's play The Crucible used the Salem Witch Trials of the 17th century as an allegory for the mass-hysteria and blacklisting carried out by the anti-communist movement in the 1950s.
Death of a SalesmanConsidered to be one of the most critically acclaimed American plays of the 20th century, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman concerns itself with the slippery ideal of success in America and how easy it is to buy into empty promises and dreams.
A Doll's HouseWhen Nora, the protagonist of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll House, slams the door on her husband and family, audiences around the world were outraged at the sight of a woman embracing independence. Today the play is recognized for its feminist significance.
Ethan FromeEdith Wharton's Ethan Frome is lauded for its haunting depiction of the New England landscape.The tragic story portrays the harshness of the environment and the stoic nature of its inhabitants, unlike the romanticized portrayals of her contemporaries.
Everyday UseOften referred to as the best of Alice Walker's short stories, "Everyday Use" examines questions of African American ancestry and identity through the voice of a rural, uneducated Black woman who is caught in a conflict between her two daughters over an heirloom quilt.
Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradbury's 1953 novelFahrenheit 451, titled after the temperature at which paper spontaneously combusts, tells the story of a society in which books are forbidden. The story became a symbol of the dangers of censorship and ignorance.
A Farewell to ArmsInspired by Ernest Hemingway's experiences with the Red Cross corps in Italy, A Farewell to Arms exemplifies Hemingway's understated and realist approach to writing. Along with his other novels, A Farewell to Arms is a staple of American literary fiction.
FencesAugust Wilson's play Fences was first performed in 1987 and impressed critics with its realistic portrayal of a black family trying to negotiate the increasingly racist landscape of the 1950s. It won a Pulitzer Prize for drama the year it debuted.
FrankensteinFrankenstein has enjoyed an immeasurable cultural impact since its publication in 1818. Mary Shelley's tale of a science experiment gone awry is still relevant today, addressing the relationship between scientific advancement and human responsibility.
GirlJamaica Kincaid’s short story "Girl" is a dialogue between a mother and her daughter written in the form of a list of instructions and directives. The story is notable for its exploration of female empowerment and patriarchal oppression.
The Glass MenagerieTennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie heavily influenced American theater during the middle of the 20th century. Through protagonist Tom Wingfield and his family, Williams examines the role of familial duty as well as the conflict between appearances and reality.
Go Tell It on the MountainAward-winning African American writer James Baldwin's first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, tells the story of a Harlem teenager's struggles with a repressive father and religious conversion.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find"A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is one of Flannery O'Connor's most renowned short stories. The story tries to negotiate the complex identities of American Southerners and its violent ending sparks controversy among scholars and readers alike.
The Grapes of WrathJohn Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath endures as a powerful portrait of the life of poor tenant farmers during the Great Depression. Displaced by the dust bowl, the Joads travel to California in search of jobs and dignity.
The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is often considered to be the best example of a great American novel. It is celebrated for its portrayal of the Jazz Age and of the illusory nature of the American dream.
HamletHamlet is often spoken of as the essential Shakespeare play. One of his most famous tragedies, its timelessness may be due to its tragic portrayal of universal human concerns such as betrayal, mortality, and madness.
Harrison BergeronKurt Vonnegut's satirical short story "Harrison Bergeron" takes place in a world where the government guarantees that everyone is equal, ensuring that no one is smarter, stronger, or more beautiful. It is read as a critique of enforced equality.
The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, published in 2017, focuses on the killing of an unarmed African American teenager by a white police officer. The novel resonates with the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement and the controversies surrounding race and racism.
Heart of DarknessJoseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness uses its narrator, Marlow, to address the dichotomy between civilized culture and savage nature. The work is a condemnation of imperialism and colonialism, although it has been criticized for its portrayals of Africans.
Hills Like White ElephantsOf his works, "Hills Like White Elephants" is a prime example of Hemingway's talent for writing about weighty matters without explicitly referring to them. The story portrays a couple having a conversation, often interpreted as a debate about abortion.
A Horseman in the SkyAmbrose Bierce used his experience as a soldier in the Civil War to write stories such as "A Horseman in the Sky," and was known for his acerbic wit. This story is about a Union soldier who faces his father in a battle against the Confederate army.
Huckleberry FinnMark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the most celebrated and controversial books in American literature. The story concerns the titular young boy and his mission to evade his alcoholic father and help a slave escape to freedom.
I, TooThe poem "I, Too" is included in The Weary Blues, the first poetry collection by African-American poet Langston Hughes published in 1926. The poem reflects Hughes's dream that one day segregation will end.
I Have a DreamMartin Luther King, Jr.'s speech "I Have a Dream," delivered at the 1963 March on Washington, is considered one of the landmark orations of the Civil Rights movement. In the speech, King envisions a "promised land" of racial justice and equality.
I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsMaya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings revolutionized the autobiographical genre by using fictional elements to portray Angelou's childhood experiences as a black girl in racist America. The book is a seminal work in African-American literature.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave GirlThe autobiographical Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs provides a harrowing description of Jacobs's life of bondage, from her birth into slavery in North Carolina to her liberation and escape in New York City.
Inferno (The Divine Comedy)Dante's Inferno is the first of three sections in Dante Alighieri's preeminent epic The Divine Comedy. An allegorical account of Dante's descent into hell, where he meets those condemned to eternal suffering, It has influenced generations of writers.
Invisible ManInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison, widely regarded as a masterpiece of the twentieth century, remains just as relevant seventy years later. The novel tells the sometimes absurd story of a young African-American man whose search for identity results in the conclusion that he is invisible to white society.
An Irish Airman Foresees His DeathWilliam Butler Yeats' poem "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death" is a counterpoint to most war poems that glorify battle. The titular airman explores his motivation to fight for the British when his own homeland is trying to obtain independence from England.
Jane EyreCharlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is about the titular character's journey towards maturity, independence, and fulfillment. Bronte's portrayal of a self-reliant woman and her criticism of Victorian morality and gender expectations were controversial at the time.
The Joy Luck ClubThe Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan's widely acclaimed novel, portrays the complexities of modern Chinese-American life while also telling of the hardships and struggles of immigrants in the U.S. The Joy Luck Club was adapted into a feature film released in 1993.
Julius CaesarShakespeare's Julius Caesar has infiltrated history, language, and popular culture in immeasurable ways. The play was one of Shakespeare's historical tragedies, and is centered around the murder of Julius Caesar.
The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner was an instant bestseller when it was published in 2003. The story concerns the friendship between two boys, Amir and his father's servant Hassan, and the intensely volatile landscape of pre-revolutionary Afghanistan.
Leaves of GrassWalt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is hailed as the first great American poetical work. Whitman continuously revised the collection, breaking literary conventions by incorporating free verse, colloquialisms, and celebrations of selfhood and sensuality.
A Lesson Before DyingThe novel A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines tells of the relationship between two African-American men, one a young, barely literate man sentenced to death for a crime he didn't commit and the other a teacher at the school for Black children who becomes his mentor.
Life of PiYann Martel's 2001 novel Life of Pi tells the story of an Indian boy stranded in the Pacific ocean with a Bengal tiger as a companion. It was widely acclaimed for its unique exploration of existential matters such as faith and identity.
Long Day's Journey Into NightLong Day's Journey Into Night exemplifies a commonly made observation about Eugene O’Neill's plays: they don’t read well, but produce spectacular theatre. Long Day's Journey Into Night is highly autobiographical and is recognized as O’Neill's finest work.
Lord of the FliesWritten in response to a Victorian novel with a happier ending, William Golding's Lord of the Flies upends our assumptions of innocence and innate goodness. The story of the corruption of a group of boys stranded on an island still shocks readers today.
The LotteryAfter the publication of her short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson received horrified letters from hundreds of readers. The story is striking for its portrayal of human cruelty and brutality, even in the most civilized of places and time periods.
MacbethIn Shakespeare's catalogue of tragedies, Macbeth endures as a haunting masterpiece. Set in medieval Scotland, actors and audiences alike are drawn to the play's complex approach to fate and free will and its prominent featuring of supernatural events.
The Masque of the Red DeathOne of Edgar Allan Poe's most chilling stories, "The Masque of the Red Death" has attracted significant scholarly attention, prompting debate over the identity of the Red Death figure and the meaning of Poe's seven, color-themed rooms.
My Papa's Waltz"My Papa's Waltz" is one of Theodore Roethke's most famous poems. It exemplifies Roethke's ability to insert vivid and poignant imagery into his verses, and gives its readers a glimpse into his preoccupation with fathers and their impact on their sons.
The NamesakeJhumpa Lahiri's first novel, The Namesake, explores the immigrant experience, the search for identity, and the struggle of a Bengali family to attain the American Dream. Published in 2003, The Namesake is inspired by Lahiri's experience as the daughter of Indian immigrants.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick DouglassNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a detailed, firsthand account of slave life and the process of self-discovery by which Douglass recognizes the evils of slavery as an institution. An escaped slave himself, Douglass became one of the most eloquent voices for Abolitionism in the United States.
Native SonRichard Wright's Native Son, published in 1940 and widely regarded as one of the greatest social protest novels, is an important milestone in the history of American literature. It was one of the first novels to expose the harsh realities of life for poor African American citizens living in urban America.
The NecklaceAlthough the surprise ending and the objectionable motives of its characters make Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" sounds like a moralistic tale, the story is an examination of the capricious nature of life and of the arbitrariness of its ups and downs.
Never Let Me GoNever Let Me Go is Kazuo Ishiguro's haunting novel about the lives of three friends in an English boarding school that prepares its students for lives as organ donors. It was shortlisted for many prestigious awards and was later turned into a movie
NightNight is Elie Wiesel's semi-fictional memoir of the Holocaust based on his experience as a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Witnessing the senseless cruelty of the Nazis and the dehumanization of the camp inmates leads Wiesel to question God, his faith, and his own morality.
Oedipus the KingSophocles is considered the master of classical Greek tragedy. The influence of his play Oedipus the King continues to reveal itself in Western thought and culture.The tragedy demonstrates the interdependence of fate, free will, and personal responsibility.
Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men offers a glimpse into the unforgiving life of migrant agricultural workers in the early 1900s. The story of George and Lennie and the tragedy that unfolds keep this book on school reading lists.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestIn a decade saturated with distrust and suspicion, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest struck a chord with the disillusioned postwar generations. The novel, about a rebellious patient in an oppressive mental hospital, was later made into a movie.
OthelloOften cited as a literary example of how damaging jealousy can be to human relationships and identities, Othello is one of Shakespeare's most striking tragedies. It continues to be the focus of critical attention both on the stage and within academia.
PassingNella Larsen's 1929 novel Passing questions notions of race and gender in the United States through the relationship between two African American women who easily pass as white but live within very different cultural surroundings. Larsen has been rediscovered as one of the key authors of the Harlem Renaissance.
A Perfect Day for BananafishJ.D. Salinger's haunting short story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" mystifies readers with its crisp dialogue and shocking ending. It is representative of Salinger's uncommon capacity for mesmerizing his readers through his characters.
Pride and PrejudiceArguably Jane Austen's most well known novel, Pride and Prejudice is a witty romantic tale that reveals Austen's biting social critiques. Darcy's and Elizabeth's tumultuous courtship highlight the burden placed upon women to find wealthy husbands and marry.
A Raisin in the SunWhen A Raisin in the Sun became a hit Broadway show in 1959, Lorraine Hansberry was an outlier in a world of white, male playwrights. Her play is acclaimed for its realistic characters and insightful approach to all forms of social injustice.
The RavenEdgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was a critical success in its day, and introduced Poe's name to the literary world. The poem is now considered one of Poe's most recognizable works, notable for its repetitiveness and haunting exploration of mourning.
The Red Badge of CourageAlthough Stephen Crane never fought in any war, his novel The Red Badge of Courage was notable for introducing the perspective of a soldier fleeing from battle out of fear. It is written in a realistic style that highlights the protagonist's experience.
The Red ConvertibleThe short story "The Red Convertible" by Louise Erdrich tells of two Native American brothers struggling to cope with their changing relationship after one returns from the Vietnam War. The story was published in Love Medicine, Erdrich's novel composed of interlinked stories.
The Road Not Taken"The Road Not Taken" is one of Robert Frost's most famous and widely quoted poems. Though it is often interpreted as a celebration of individual choice and nonconformism, Frost frequently noted that he did not intend for the poem to be read in such a way.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My CryRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is an award-winning novel by Mildred D. Taylor. Inspired by her parents' struggle in a segregated society and her childhood memories of racism, the book is about the life of a black family living in the Depression-era south
Romeo and JulietRomeo and Juliet competes with Hamlet for the title of most famous and most performed Shakespeare tragedy, and is still the subject of critical study by scholars today. The titular characters indelibly influenced Western conceits of romance and courtship.
A Rose for Emily"A Rose for Emily" was William Faulkner's first major short story to be published. Faulkner's interest in the traditions and customs of the American South is evident in the story, and it continues to captivate readers with its grotesque ending.
The Scarlet LetterNathaniel Hawthorne, a descendant of Salem witch-hunters, embeds anxieties about sin, hypocrisy and guilt in The Scarlet Letter. It was his breakthrough as an author, and is regarded as one of the first distinctly American novels.
A Separate PeaceJohn Knowles' coming-of-age novel A Separate Peace is widely praised as a classic of American literature. Through his writing and the characterization of the two protagonists, Gene and Finny, Knowles brings the spirit and ethos of 1950s America to life.
Slaughterhouse-FiveSlaughterhouse-Five, based on Kurt Vonnegut's experience in the Dresden bombings of World War II, demonstrates his skill in blending unconventional narratives and dark humour within a story about the atrocities of war.
Sonny's BluesJames Baldwin's Sonny's Blues tells a tale of internalized prejudice and the human ability to transcend suffering. The narrator of the story and his brother, Sonny, grapple with the injustices thrown at them as African-Americans in segregated America.
The Stolen ChildFascinated by Irish folklore and mythology, William Butler Yeats wrote "The Stolen Child," a poem about a child being lured into the world of fairies. The poem's ethereal, escapist tone and imagery made it very popular among Victorian readers.
A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee William's famous play A Streetcar Named Desire is centered on the troubles of Blanche DuBois and her conflict with her brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski. Through them Williams explores the changing landscape and social dynamics of the South.
Sweat"Sweat" is considered to be one of Zora Neale Hurston's best works of fiction. The short story concerns the main character Delia, who works hard to make money, and her triumph over her husband, who is jobless, abusive, and unfaithful.
The Tell-Tale Heart"The Tell-Tale Heart," written by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short story about the murder of an old man, narrated by the disturbed perpetrator of the crime, who claims he is not insane. The story is often characteristic of the gothic fiction genre.
Their Eyes Were Watching GodAt the time of its publication, reactions to Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God were not favorable. Now however, it is analyzed in African American studies classes for its vibrant and unadulterated portrait of black strength and identity.
Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart was widely acclaimed as a response to common literary stereotypes portraying African culture as primitive. The novel paved the way for future African writers and helped bring African literature to the world's attention.
The Things They CarriedTim O'Brien's The Things They Carried blurs the line between memoir and fiction, stories and reality. O'Brien's collection of short stories detail the experiences of Vietnam War soldiers as well as their struggle to make sense of life after the war.
Those Winter SundaysRobert Hayden's poem "Those Winter Sundays" is acclaimed for its subtle depiction of the speaker's father. The poem works through suggestion and implication, and the result is a portrait of a difficult life and a child's ignorance of his father's struggle.
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee's classic coming-of-age tale is renowned for its insightful and sensitive approach to the racial disparities of a quiet Southern town, and the lessons learned by the novel's young protagonist, Scout, about justice, strength, and heroism.
The Underground RailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, an alternate-history novel published in 2016 that reimagines the history of American slavery, received a Pulitzer Prize, an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and a National Book Award, among other honors.
The VeldtRay Bradbury's short story "The Veldt" was included in an anthology that helped cement his reputation as a masterful short story writer. The Veldt is about the sinister demise of George and Lydia Hadley at the hands of their children's automated nursery.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," a short story by Gabriel García Márquez, contains the hallmarks of magic realism, as villagers discover an old man washed up on the shore who may or may not be an angel.
Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?Of all the works in her staggering repertoire, Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is one of the most studied. Its unsettling conclusion has invited numerous interpretations speculating on the meaning of the story.
Woman Hollering CreekIn the short story “Woman Hollering Creek,” Sandra Cisneros writes of a Mexican woman in the United States who is trapped in a constricting, culturally assigned gender role due to her linguistic isolation, violent marriage, and poverty.
A Worn PathDescribed by the author as a story about how a writer works, Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path" is frequently included on the reading lists of literature classes. There are many interpretations readers can make from the tireless protagonist's determination.
Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte's Wuthering Heights endures as a classic story of eternal love and devotion, and its gothic themes and subversively haunting characters keeps the attention of readers and literary scholars alike. It was her only novel.
The Yellow WallpaperCharlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" was written with the intention of raising awareness about oppressive "rest cures" for women in the 19th century. It is an important piece of feminist literature.
Young Goodman BrownFrequently anthologized in textbooks and collections, Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown" is an exploration of the hypocrisy of Calvinist theology. In the story, the titular protagonist slowly devolves into a state of faithlessness.