A well-written essay can become a portal to another universe…
Our greatest tales have stood not only the test of time, but have continuously captured the fleeting imaginations of countless generations of restless children. Perhaps you’re looking to write an exemplary essay. In that case, what can we learn from some of the greatest tales that were ever written? Here are 5 timeless essay stories that are definitely worth reading, right now!
‘Lamb To The Slaughter’ – Roald Dahl
Perhaps one of THE best short story writers, Roald Dahl is known for their macabre, often Kafkaesque writing style. His work is almost a perfect encapsulation of the sentimentality of the Victorian/Edwardian era. Namely: “Life is often drole and for that reason, one should always distrust a wide grin.” I’m more than sure that you’ve read at least one collection of the author’s tales at one point in grade school and gotten a similar feeling.
‘Lamb To The Slaughter’ is one such tale. Mary Maloney was a dedicated wife and homemaker. She was an individual who knew all too well the pressures of maintaining the sanctity of her home. Through her, we see the lens of a woman who wanted nothing more than to be dutiful to her husband, a hardworking police officer; a stonewall of a man. One day, perhaps due to pressures even Mary didn’t fully understand, she snapped.
The way the story is written, you come to understand Mary. Roald Portrays Mary Maloney as a woman, who much like the era she was born into, did not want to make a scene. In this tale, we learn that there’s a lot to living in a society that we often take for granted. That is until those pressures become demands.
‘The Lottery’ – Shirley Jackson
The most compelling short stories often thrust is directly into the middle, with no “fourth wall” to speak of, at all. ‘The Lottery’, by Shirley Jackson is just such a short story. A perennial ritual befalls a small town, much to the resident’s delight. This cheerful atmosphere betrays the sinister nature behind the ritual, itself. ‘The Lottery’ presents a paradox and shows us that sometimes. good luck can be a bad thing.
In a few short pages, Shirley Jackson brings us along for a ride of intrigue, suspense, and ultimately, a satisfyingly unforeseen twist.
Her style of writing is disarmingly simple. Nevertheless, it is highly effective at conveying the nuances needed.
In the small town that ‘The Lottery’ takes place in, we find that the residents are appropriately monotonous in their tasks and day-to-day living.
This is to be expected, in such a small town and Shirley conveys this perfectly. This is likely one of the reasons why it tends to be a choice read from middle school, onward.
‘The Veldt’ – Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury is yet another novelist, whose name finds itself on the Summer reading list of children, all around the world.
Namely, his bestseller ‘Fahrenheit 451’. Though a riveting tale, it is not the subject of focus, in this article.
Instead, we’ll be focusing on another, lesser-known work of the gentleman; a sci-fi short story, called ‘The Veldt‘.
As is Ray Bradbury’s signature style, this piece takes place in a dystopian future.
George and Lydia Hadley are two proud parents and the proud owners of a new automated house, complete with a state-of-the-art nursery!
What fantastic luck- they get to experience the height of convenience, as such a precious time in the life of a newlywed couple.
Ray Bradbury’s style has always come across too many readers as immersive, yet segmented into easier-to-read chunks. ‘The Veldt’ offers us a smooth and hair-raising transition through the lives of the Hadleys, as their children grow up in the new home.
Their “love” for the nursery begins to worry the parents. They want to shut the machine down, but the children… they can’t allow that!
Ray Bradbury has a lot to teach new writers about how to bring about rapid and smooth setting transitions, as well as an impressive time-skip.
There’s a reason why he’s one of the best writers of the 20th century.
‘Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders’ – Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is a writer, whose writings almost always fall into the Fantasy genre. He’s not only written hundreds, if not thousands of short stories but he’s also directed a few movies, as well! One of the most talented writers of our time, and he’s won many awards for his works.
His writing style invokes a sense of whimsey and his stories are often told with such vibrancy, that you can almost perfectly envision the settings- if only you’d close your eyes…
‘Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders’ is a collection of 30 short stories. Each story is a demonstration of Gaiman’s amazing range as a best-selling writer. You learn how to set up inventive plot twists and turns. One story involves a couple of boys, who find themselves at the mercy of the woman of their dreams. However, not all that glitters is gold, as the two trouble makers very quickly learn.
Neil Gaiman has inspired and taught aspiring writers, all over the world and continues to do so. I highly recommend picking up one of his books, you won’t regret it!
‘Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories’ – Akutagawa
One of history’s most prestigious writers and the namesake of a globally recognized literary prize, Akutagawa is a legend, when it comes to writing short stories. This compilation has 18 of his best tales, including the legendary ‘Rashomon‘. Rashomon is a story that brings about the question of morality, righteousness, and whether or not the values we uphold are worth our lives. The tale is simple, yet masterfully told.
There was once a man. Stripped of his title and honor, he contemplates whether he should starve with dignity, or survive with shame.
Upon meeting a woman who has chosen the latter, the two have a conversation that will change the course of both of their lives.
Rashomon is a must-read for aspiring writers. The lessons in Akutagawa’s writings are sure to enhance and bring a new level to how your writing flows and conveys the intended message.
After reading these short stories, you’ll definitely want to write one of your own! There are all kinds of ways that you can convey the story you want to tell the world. Even if you feel a bit nervous at first, that’s okay.! Reliable essay writing services, like Last Minute Essay, can help you write the perfect essay and get the results you need in no time at all. Good luck and don’t forget to do your best!