20 Classic Last Words in Books
''So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.''
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
''The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off.''
—Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961)
'''Yes,' I said. 'Isn't it pretty to think so?'''
—Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (1926)
''Ah: runs. Runs.''
—John Updike, Rabbit, Run (1960)
''I never saw any of them again — except the cops. No way has yet been invented to say goodbye to them.''
—Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (1953)
''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)
''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)
''It was a fine cry — loud and long — but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.''
—Toni Morrison, Sula (1973)
''I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare — bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.''
—Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
''I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.''
—James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
''It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.''
—E.B. White, Charlotte's Web (1952)
''Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?''
—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1952)
''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)
''And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.''
—Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938)
''After all, tomorrow is another day.''
—Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind (1936)
''And he couldn't do it. He could not f---ing die. How could he leave? How could he go? Everything he hated was here.''
—Philip Roth, Sabbath's Theater (1995)
''Are there any questions?''
—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (1986)
''Goodnight stars; Goodnight air; Goodnight noises everywhere.''
—Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon (1947)
''...you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.''
—Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable (1953)
''Somebody threw a dead dog after him down the ravine.''
—Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano (1947)