SparkNotes Blog

7 Disturbing Details from Classic Novels (That You Probably Don’t Remember)

Classic novels do this thing where they spend paragraph after paragraph describing the misty moors, or the history of Paris, or how there’s a storm coming that symbolizes the protagonist’s inner turmoil. But then they also throw in a quick “BY THE WAY, HERE’S A RANDOM, SUPER DISTURBING DETAIL THAT WE’RE GOING TO MENTION ONCE AND NEVER AGAIN. NOW, ABOUT THAT STORM.”

Here are some of the details you may have missed while you were busy focusing on other, less interesting things, like bad weather or whale anatomy. (Moby-Dick is not on this list, but I feel like Herman Melville needs a call-out.)