15 Books Every English Major Hates

A Rebellion Against Literary Canon

This listicle is here to commiserate with you on the 15 books every English major hates whether secretly (or not-so-secretly). As an English major you’ve probably encountered some reads that made you question your life choices.

Call me Ishmael, but English majors often find themselves callously cast into the abyss of nautical jargon and whale obsessions. Ahab’s pursuit of the elusive Moby Dick can feel like chasing a high school crush – unattainable and somewhat exhausting.

“Moby-Dick” By Herman Melville

This epic poem might have “paradise” in the title, but for many English majors, it’s more like paradise lost reading page after page of dense theological debates and archaic language. The struggle to decipher Satan’s motivations can be as bewildering as a freshman navigating a campus map.

“Paradise Lost” By John Milton

James Joyce’s masterpiece is often celebrated for its complexity, but English majors may find themselves drowning in its stream-of-consciousness narrative and perplexing wordplay. It’s like deciphering a cryptic crossword puzzle where every answer leads to more questions.

“Ulysses” By James Joyce

If Ulysses felt like a linguistic rollercoaster, then Finnegans Wake is the dizzying loop-de-loop that leaves English majors questioning reality itself. Unraveling Joyce’s linguistic acrobatics can feel like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

“Finnegans Wake” By James Joyce

“The Canterbury Tales” By Geoffrey Chaucer

Middle English, anyone? Chaucer’s tales might be timeless, but deciphering the original language feels like being thrown into a linguistic time machine without a manual. English majors often long for a modern-day translation to avoid feeling like they’re lost in translation.

Ayn Rand’s philosophical magnum opus can be a tough pill to swallow for English majors who prefer character development over lengthy speeches on individualism. Reading this tome can feel like being stuck in a never-ending debate with a passionate friend who refuses to let you get a word in edgewise.

“Atlas Shrugged” By Ayn Rand



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