Can you remember the books you read in high school from a one sentence summary?

By: Isadora Teich

An outsider gets involved with a host of wealthy and terrible people during the jazz age.

F Scott Fitzgerald wrote "The Great Gatsby." In this classic novel narrator Nick Carraway gets sucked into the drama of wealthy and shallow elites, who live lives of careless excess.

Animals are used to make an allegorical statement about the evils of communism.

"Animal Farm" is a novel critiquing Stalinism in Soviet Russia. It was written by George Orwell.

A Jewish girl details her life hiding from the Nazis in an attic in her diary.

Anne Frank was a Dutch Jewish girl who kept a personal diary as her family hid from the Nazis in an attic for two years. Her family was discovered and she died in a concentration camp in 1945 only for her diary to be published after her death.

An aging Cuban fisherman who struggles to bring a large catch back to shore with him.

"The Old Man and the Sea" was the last novel written by Ernest Hemingway published during his life. It tells the story of Santiago, who struggles with his massive catch off of the coast of Florida.

A young woman struggles to cope with interning and living in New York City as her mental health degrades.

"The Bell Jar" was the only novel written by Sylvia Plath before she committed suicide in 1963. In it a young woman gains an exciting internship in New York City, only to find all of it terrifying as her mental health deteriorates. It is believed that this may parallel Sylvia Plath's own experiences with mental illness.

A noble husband and wife scheme to kill the king of their country and take the throne, only to go insane after succeeding

Shakespeare is one of the most famous playwrights of the English language. In his play, "Macbeth" a husband and wife lose their minds and lives after taking over Scotland through bloody murder.

A group of young boys get stranded on a deserted island.

This novel by William Golding tells the tale of a group of young boys who get stuck on a deserted island. They try to govern themselves with horrifying results.

A young Danish prince loses his mind after his uncle kills his father and takes the throne.

This play is one of Shakespeare's most famous. In this tragedy, Prince Hamlet of Denmark becomes increasingly erratic as he attempts to prove his uncle guilty of murdering his father.

Two teens from enemy families have a doomed romance.

In this famous Shakespearean play, two teens find love despite their families' mutual hatred. Romeo comes from the Montague family. Juliet, his love, comes from the enemy Capulet family.

A Puritan woman struggles after conceiving a child through adultery and being punished by her town.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlett Letter" features one of the first female main characters in American literature, Hester Prynne. After giving birth to her daughter born of adultery, she will not admit who the father of the child is. Her husband tries to figure it out while in disguise.

A troubled teen tells the reader about his adventures playing hooky in New York City.

The novel "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger is about a troubled teen named Holden Caulfield. In it, he struggles with grief, growing up, and authority.

Many in a small town die during a witch hunting craze.

This play by Arthur Miller tells a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials. It was written in 1953.

Two poor drifters try to save up the money they make working the fields so they can achieve their dreams.

"Of Mice and Men" is a 1937 novella written by John Steinbeck. It takes place during the Great Depression in America.

A meek civil servant rebels against the totalitarian society he lives in.

"1984" by George Orwell tells the story of Winston Smith, a civil servant who keeps a secret diary and has a fling to rebel against government oppression. In the novel society is closely controlled through technology and manipulation.

In the future, Londoners are manipulated through drugs and sex to fall into a strictly structured society where birth, aging, and death are regulated.

Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel "Brave New World" is a dystopian fiction classic. In it, most people live under terrifying constraints but are too distracted by pleasure-seeking to notice.

A boy adventures in the Mississippi Valley.

This novel by Mark Twain explores the adventures of the young Huckleberry Finn. Twain intended to poke fun at outdated ideals and attitudes.

A small town lawyer tries to exonerate a black man falsely accused of rape.

Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" was published in 1960. It takes place in a fictional sleepy southern county in Alabama.

A mad scientist creates new and intelligent life by cobbling together corpse parts, only to make it vengeful and cruel by rejecting it.

Mary Shelley was only a teenager when she wrote this horror classic. While this often-adapted tale regularly features a monster that can barely talk, the original was terrifyingly intelligent.

A man borrows money using his friend's body as collateral.

In Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," the Jewish moneylender Shylock famously asks for "a pound of flesh" as collateral when lending money to a man who had been cruel to him. To this day, it is still debated whether Shakespeare's portrayal and treatment of Shylock are antisemitic, or meant to highlight the cruel way Christians treated Jews in Europe.

A young woman learns what truly matters to her while she and her sisters navigate romance in polite society.

Jane Austen's 1813 novel "Pride And Prejudice" is one of the most often adapted English works. It follows Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with the intricacies and absurdities of polite society.

A ruler is betrayed by his closest friend, who struggles with the decision.

In this famous Shakespearian tragedy, Brutus agonizes over the decision to turn on the emperor, who is his dear friend. It is one of the several plays Shakespeare wrote using Roman historical events.

A man who has become obsessed with a mysterious ivory trader travels the Congo River in central Africa.

This novella by Joseph Conrad follows a man named Marlowe on a voyage up the Congo River in central Africa. He becomes obsessed with a mysterious ivory trader named Kurtz, only to find that he is not what he expects.

A man suddenly transforms into a giant cockroach.

In this short novel by Franz Kafka, a traveling salesman who provides for his family is suddenly transformed into a giant insect. He stays that way until his death, after which he is not missed by his family.

In a dystopian America of the future, books are outlawed.

In this 1953 book by Ray Bradbury, books are illegal and those who read them are punished. It was inspired by the hysteria of the McCarthy era.

A family struggles to relate to each other while handling the societal pressures to always make and have more.

Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" was a radically critical piece for 1949. It is considered a piece which skewers the American dream of vain materialism.

The struggle of the lower classed and aristocrats in both London and Paris leading up to and during the French Revolution are explored.

"A Tale of Two Cities" was written by Charles Dickens. This novel has been adapted for radio, film, stage, and TV.

A coming-of-age tale that follows groups of teens separated by their socioeconomic status.

"The Outsiders" was written by teenager S. E. Hinton in 1967. The entire book spans two weeks in the life of a 14 year old boy named Ponyboy Curtis.

A man with a rare condition that has made him intellectually disabled undergoes an operation to raise his IQ.

In the Daniel Keyes novel "Flowers For Algernon," Charlie Gordon is a 32-year-old intellectually disabled man. After getting surgery to raise his IQ, he deals with unforeseen consequences.

A nonfunctional WWII vet has his life story revealed in a non-linear order.

This 1969 novel by Kurt Vonnegut is his most famous work. It is considered semi-autobiographical.

Two boys with opposite personalities develop a complicated friendship.

This coming-of-age novel by John Knowles details the relationship of two boys at New England boarding school during WWII. This award-winning novel has been controversial due to what many consider to be its homoerotic undertones.

A Jewish man delivers a first-hand account of surviving WWII Nazi concentration camps.

Jewish holocaust survivor Ellie Wiesel details his experience as a teenager in Nazi death camps. This memoir was published in 1960.

A poor orphan boy is taken in by a wealthy family and grows up to seek revenge on them.

Emily Bronte's only novel centers around the famously brooding Heathcliff, a poor orphan who seeks revenge on those who kept him and his love, Cathy Earnshaw, apart. It was controversial for its unflinching handling of the darker aspects of society and human nature.

An escaped slave is haunted by the ghost of her daughter.

Toni Morrison's "Beloved" is the haunting tale of Sethe, an escaped slave. After previously escaping from slavery with her baby daughter and being caught, Sethe killed the child rather than see her enslaved. The grown ghost haunts her and her family.

A working-class African-American father as he struggles to provide for his family.

This 1985 play written by August Wilson takes place in the 1950s. It's critically acclaimed and widely read in high school across the country.

Three flawed people are punished after death by being forced to spend eternity in a room together.

This existentialist play by Jean-Paul Sartre provides a grim picture of the afterlife. The famous quote "Hell is other people." comes from this work.

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About This Quiz

In school we are given a lot of books to read, but how well do you recall those literary classics? Take this throwback literature quiz to find out how much of that info from group projects and pop quizzes has stuck!

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