09 January 2021

Last lines of novels

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I been there before. –Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

He loved Big Brother. –George Orwell, 1984 (1949)

‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’ –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth. –Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; trans. Gregory Rabassa)

It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan. –Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city. –Albert Camus, The Plague (1947; trans. Stuart Gilbert)

“Good grief—It's Daddy!” –Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, Candy (1958)

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, "God bless Us, Every One!" –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. –George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)

But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing. –A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner (1928)

The old man was dreaming about the lions. –Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

“Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” –Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (1936)

5 comments:

  1. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

    The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway

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  2. Thanks for the reminder of some wonderful books; the lines brought back some amazing memories of time spent in other worlds.

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  3. Opening lines are often overlooked. Most readers likely know the first dozen words of "A Tale of Two Cities." The first sentence, though written 160 years ago, could be an anthem for our the unpleasantness of the past 10 months or so:

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

    When I first started teaching, every teacher in the building taught one period of reading. We were basically free to teach what we wanted, within certain basic guidelines. This was high school, so we were not teaching how to read, rather more of an "applied reading" concept. In my class, I used opening lines of assigned books in a close reading activity. Actually, I don't think it was called close reading back then. Anyway, I always found this activity to be a good hook for even reluctant readers.

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    Replies
    1. Here you go =

      https://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2008/07/opening-lines-from-science-fiction.html

      https://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2009/09/opening-lines-from-famous-movies.html

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