Culture

The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School 

Lauren Slocum
Updated June 3, 2018 10.2k votes 989 voters 6k views 44 items

List Rules Vote up the most overrated required reading.

They say there's no accounting for taste and overrated classic literature seems to prove as much. While critics, scholars, and your high shool English teacher may gushed over certain canonical works, you may look back at such novels and novellas with profound confusion. Were they really that good? Below, you will find all the worst books from high school ranked by your votes! 

Books become classics for a variety of reasons. Politics, privilege, and sometimes random chance help determine which texts stand the test of time. This means some books lauded as veritable epitomes of literary excellence may have just kind of lucked out. There are some books you shouldn't have to read in high school, regardless of how esteemed they may be. Given J.D. Saligner's shoddy reputation, do we really have to keep revisiting The Catcher in the Rye? And while Beowulf is one of the oldest stories ever told, the narrative is pretty uninteresting when you get down to it. Browse this list for other works that should be nixed from required reading lists everywhere! 

list ordered by
1
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Nathaniel Hawthorne
2
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
William Shakespeare
3
The Catcher in the Rye ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
J. D. Salinger
4
The Old Man and the Sea ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Ernest Hemingway
5
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Charles Dickens
6
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
F. Scott Fitzgerald
7
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Emily Brontë
8
Ethan Frome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Edith Wharton
9
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Herman Melville
10
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
11
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Charlotte Brontë
12
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Charles Dickens
13
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Jane Austen
14
A Separate Peace is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
John Knowles
15
The Adventures of Huckle... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
16
The Crucible is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Arthur Miller
17
Madame Bovary is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Gustave Flaubert
18
Sense and Sensibility is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Jane Austen
19
Love in the Time of Chol... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Gabriel García Márquez
20
Othello is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
William Shakespeare
21
Adventures of Huckleberr... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
22
Beowulf is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Welwyn Wilton Katz
23
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
Joseph Conrad
24
Finnegan's Wake is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
25
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Overrated Classics You Were Forced To Read In High School
William Golding