15 of the Most Memorable Last Lines in Literature

Last Sentences

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By Johanna Dickson, Digital Publicist


This piece is a sequel to 15 of the Most Memorable First Sentences in Literature.

If other voracious readers are anything like me, the end of a book is often
bittersweet. For hundreds of pages you bond with the characters, get captured in the narrative and get lost in another world. You are so engrossed in the story that you don’t want it to end. Last lines tie up the story and give you the satisfying ending you need.

Here are fifteen memorable last lines in literature:

“He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.” –To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee


“The eyes and faces all turned themselves towards me, and guiding myself by them, as by a magical thread, I stepped into the room.” –The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath


“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.” –Animal Farm, George Orwell


“Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.” –Life of Pi, Yann Martel


“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.”-The House At Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne


“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 will 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.” –On the Road, Jack Kerouac


“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” –Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White


“It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” –The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger


“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.” –A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens


“But I don’t think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.” –The Color Purple, Alice Walker


“But that is the beginning of a new story – the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended.” –Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky


“Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this.” –Little Women, Louisa May Alcott


“‘From the Land of Oz,’ said Dorothy gravely. ‘And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I’m so glad to be at home again!'” –The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum


“Are there any questions?” –The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood


“Then starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.” –In Cold Blood, Truman Capote


Related: 15 of the Most Memorable First Sentences in Literature


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