Death of a Salesman
When you’re in high school, having a full-time job and a family to care for are things only grownups have to worry about, which makes it hard to understand a character like Willy Loman. As the main character in this Arthur Miller play, salesman Willy is not exactly a role model: He’s disillusioned with the American Dream, lies to his family, and cheats on his wife. As a kid, you probably thought Willy was a lame bad guy. But in rereading the play as an adult, you can really relate to Willy’s daily struggles and finally appreciate how Willy’s failed dreams are behind his flaws and drive his self-deception. These are the books you should read before turning 50.
Sure, when you’re 13, reading about talking pigs taking over a farm seems weird and boring. And you probably tuned out your English teacher when he droned on about how the novel is an allegory for Soviet Union-era communism. But George Orwell’s 1945 classic, Animal Farm, takes on a much greater meaning when you reread it as an adult and discover that the book is about more than talking farm animals. It’s a multi-layered historical analysis of human behavior that examines the way power breeds corruption. Here are other classic books you can read in one day.