20 Incredible Facts About The Books You Were Forced To Read In School

    We'll let Shakespeare sit this one out.

    Remember those "required reading" books you picked up for English class? Whether you read them voluntarily or by force, chances are some of those narratives impacted you. If reading wasn't your thing, you probably opted to consume these works via film adaptations.

    The title page for The Great Gatsby book

    There are a lot of fascinating stories behind the iconic novels we all grew up consuming. From humble beginnings on a typewriter to influencing pop culture, Hollywood, and the government, here are some things we wish we knew while reading these books in school.

    1. Dill Harris from To Kill a Mockingbird is based on a famous author.

    Truman Capote touching his hand to his chin while speaking

    2. George Orwell's Animal Farm was rejected by at least four different publishers for political reasons.

    Cartoon pigs typing on typewriters

    3. George Orwell was fighting for his life while writing 1984.

    George Orwell sitting in front of a BBC microphone

    4. F. Scott Fitzgerald died thinking The Great Gatsby was a flop.

    The cover of the novel The Great Gatsby

    5. Hollywood has been desperately trying to make a The Catcher in the Rye film for decades.

    Copies of The Catcher in the Rye on a bookshelf

    6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens directly inspired one of Christopher Nolan's Batman films.

    Christopher Nolan posing for a photo

    7. The author of Lord of the Flies actually hated his own book.

    William Golding sitting with his hand touching his head

    8. The Kite Runner was inspired by a news story.

    A young boy holding two kites

    9. The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel.

    Oscar Wilde posing for a picture in his favorite coat

    10. The Scarlet Letter features a real punishment used by Puritan communities.

    A woman with a red letter A on her shirt

    11. John Steinbeck's dog ate the first manuscript of Of Mice and Men.

    John Steinbeck sitting with his hands together

    12. Frankenstein was written by a teenager.

    A photo of Frankenstein's monster

    13. A computer error code is named after Fahrenheit 451.

    The 50th Anniversary cover of Fahrenheit 451

    14. Jane Austen published Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice anonymously.

    A modern cover of the novel Pride and Prejudice

    15. Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights under a male pseudonym.

    A portrait of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne

    16. The Grapes of Wrath gave Route 66 its most famous nickname.

    A red white and blue sign that reads Historic Route 66

    17. Lois Lowry wrote The Giver because of her father's illness.

    Lois Lowry posing on a red carpet

    18. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston was written in just seven weeks.

    Zora Neale Hurston holding a book

    19. Starbucks is named after one of Moby Dick’s characters.

    A painting of Starbuck and a crew hunting whales on a boat

    20. Jane Eyre's publisher had no idea the author was a woman until Charlotte Brontë was forced to meet her editors in person.

    Water color painting of Charlotte Bronte