Common Essay Topics On Books: Top 20 Examples

Whenever you are given an assignment where you need to write on an essay on a book, you should do your best to come up with an interesting and original topic. This can be hard to do on your own, so we’ve put together a list of 20 examples for you to consider for your own or to use as inspiration:

  1. To Kill a Mocking Bird: Discuss the themes of racial inequality and rape. How did the author succeed in dealing with these serious issues in using warmth and humor throughout the novel?
  2. Catch-22: This satirical novel depicts events from a number of characters fighting in WWII to explain an unsolvable situation. Explain how the importance of this literary device in the story.
  3. Fight Club: The late 20th century novel deals with issues of emasculation and existentialism to convey a satirical view of society. How does the protagonist change attitudes through the story?
  4. Death in Venice: In this early 20th century novella by the German author Thomas Mann, is about a writer suffering writer’s block. How reflective is this of the novella’s author’s own situation?
  5. Tess of the d’Urbervilles: Thomas Hardy’s 19th century novel deals with issues of nature and destruction. How does the female protagonist convey these issues?
  6. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus: Many people make the mistake of thinking Frankenstein is the monster and not actually the name of the protagonist. How did this happen?
  7. Dracula: As one of the first Gothic novels in British literature, Stoker’s classic horror introduces a new character that has been revived in many forms. Why was Dracula such a success?
  8. The Phantom of the Opera: This French novel by Gaston Leroux was first published in serial form in the early 20th century. How did the novel’s structure and action help make it a success?
  9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: J.K. Rowling’s series of novels have often been compared to the stories of Roald Dahl. What themes or styles do both series share?
  10. The Bell Jar: Sylvia Plath’s haunting semi-autobiographical story about mental illness and depression. How has this novel served psychology in that it is essentially a first-hand account?
  11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream: Hunter S. Thompson’s novel is a roman a clef. How important is drug use and abuse in the story?
  12. The Prophet: Kahlil Gibran’s prose poetry book about life and the human condition has been one of the most celebrated works all over the world. What are the major themes explored?
  13. Pride and Prejudice: Austen’s novel deals with issues of morality, education, manners, and marriage in British gentry’ life of the 18th century. What other themes does the novel explore?
  14. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: Murakami’s novel has many missing chapters in the English translated versions. Why do you think the English translators chose to remove these chapters?
  15. The Odyssey: This classic heroic poem from Ancient Greece is attributed to have been written by Homer, but many believe he gathered the information from many sources. What do you think?
  16. A Prayer of Owen Meany: The novel by John Irving is often regarded as being highly verbose. Do you think this is the author’s particular style or does he employ this device to express his ideas?
  17. Huckleberry Finn: Mark Twain’s classic piece about a teenage boy’s adventures in the 19th century Deep South was initially banned. What elements do you believe were problems?
  18. The Game Show Host: A controversial early 20th century novel written by an Anonymous author cause a lot of stir in politics. What characteristics about corruption did it remind the public of?
  19. Dry: This autobiographical novel by Augusten Burroughs takes a deep look into his demise into alcohol. Is this book uplifting in any way when you consider the pain and suffering exposed?
  20. The Inferno: This epic poem by Dante Alighieri is a celebrated Italian work that deals issues of love, death, sin, morality and more. What elements are also seen in other contemporary works?