Ending Lines

Opening lines are important. They introduce the reader into a world inherently different than the one he experiences in his day to day life. But what about the ending? How does one go about it? Don’t they matter maybe just as much?

Here are some of the best ending lines from novels.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“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.” – Ulysses, James Joyce

“For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts and on all those Dorotheas who life faithfully their hidden lives and rest in unvisited tombs.” – Middlemarch, George Eliot

“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.” – Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

“The knife came down, missing him by inches, and he took off.”  – Catch-22, Joseph Heller

“He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance.” – Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

9 thoughts on “Ending Lines

  1. Ending lines are important because they either summarizes the main idea of the topic being discussed or emphasizes the main message of the topic in so few words in such a way that will be unforgettable.

  2. I’m with pick1solution on this. I feel that every ending line should make the reader grasp out for the turn of the page. To find whats on the other side.
    Mary Shelly surprised me within her writings and became an overnight sensation for me.
    My mother loved Louisa May Alcott the most. But the only women our schools taught back in the 60’s were the Bronte women, Anne and Emily. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who made me fall in love with poetry. I think we had a Dickinson, another Emily (I’m just kidding, she’s perhaps the most famous), and lastly, Jane Austin who shoves more words into a sentence than even I’m capable of.
    You always start my day with something interesting Cristian. Thanks.
    Certainly Shelly would be the wealthiest of them all, as everything has Frankenstein in it, and she’d get a cut from all the promotions, movies and publications.

  3. These are great, and I wish I saw more blog posts on “ending lines” — thanks for doing this!

    My very favorite, I think, is from Neuromancer: “And he never saw Molly again.”

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