Famous Last Lines of Novels

The last lines of novels are the final word. The author may offer resolution (or just more questions). In the end, we take what we can get. Which of the famous last lines in literature is your favorite?

Famous Last Lines of Novels

  • "Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!"
    - Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener

  • "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 Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  • "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

  • "But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."
    - George Eliot, Middlemarch

  • "He loved Big Brother."
    - George Orwell, 1984

  • "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."
    - James Joyce, Dubliners, "The Dead"

  • "I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita."
    - Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

  • "I don't hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I don't. I don't! I don't hate it! I don't hate it!"
    - William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

  • "I shall feel proud and satisfied to have been the first author to enjoy the full fruit of his writings, as I desired, because my only desire has been to make men hate those false, absurd histories in books of chivalry, which thanks to the exploits of my real Don Quixote are even now tottering, and without any doubt will soon tumble to the ground. Farewell."
    - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

  • "If I were a younger man, I would write a history of human stupidity; and I would climb to the top of Mount McCabe and lie down on my back with my history for a pillow; and I would take from the ground some of the blue-white poison that makes statues of men; and I would make a statue of myself, lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who."
    - Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

  • "In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel."
    - Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie

  • "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

  • "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

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

  • "Just a moment, I've almost finished If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino."
    - Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

  • "Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood; and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago; and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days."
    - Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

  • "L--d! said my mother, what is all this story about?-- A COCK and a BULL, said Yorick--And one of the best of its kind I ever heard."
    - Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

  • "So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road

  • "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
    - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

  • "The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off."
    - Joseph Heller, Catch-22

  • "The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky- seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness."
    - Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

  • "Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining."
    - Samuel Beckett, Molly

  • "Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?"
    - Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man

  • "Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision."
    - Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

  • "Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
    - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Famous First Lines of Novels
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Lombardi, Esther. "Famous Last Lines of Novels." ThoughtCo, Mar. 10, 2013, thoughtco.com/famous-last-lines-of-novels-740909. Lombardi, Esther. (2013, March 10). Famous Last Lines of Novels. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-last-lines-of-novels-740909 Lombardi, Esther. "Famous Last Lines of Novels." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-last-lines-of-novels-740909 (accessed November 17, 2017).