Some of My Favourite Ending Lines from Novels, and Belated IWSG Day

Favourite ending lines from novels!

Here are some of mine, inspired by Malcolm Campbell's recent post, Some of my favorite ending lines from novels. I like especially his choice of Orwell, Milne, and Mitchell.


Joyce's Ulysses was also one of the first to leap to my mind (impossible to quote the whole sentence, of course):

"...and Gibraltar as a girl where 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."


I also thought of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and the line, "'God's in His heaven, all's right with the world', whispered Anne softly."

But then I thought of the last book in the series, Rilla of Ingleside, and the fact that it also ends with a yes (for those who haven't read it yet, note that Rilla has a lisp and that Ken is returning from war):

"The door bell rang, Rilla turned reluctantly stairwards. She must answer it -- there was no one else in the house; but she hated the idea of callers just then. She went downstairs slowly, and opened the front door.
A man in khaki was standing on the steps -- a tall fellow, with dark eyes and hair, and a narrow white scar running across his brown cheek. Rilla stared at him foolishly for a moment. Who was it?
She ought to know him -- there was certainly something very familiar about him -- 'Rilla-my-Rilla,' he said.
'Ken,' gasped Rilla. Of course, it was Ken -- but he looked so much older -- he was so much changed -- that scar -- the lines about his eyes and lips -- her thoughts went whirling helplessly.
Ken took the uncertain hand she held out, and looked at her. The slim Rilla of four years ago had rounded out into symmetry. He had left a school girl, and he found a woman -- a woman with wonderful eyes and a dented lip, and rose-bloom cheek -- a woman altogether beautiful and desirable -- the woman of his dreams.
'Is it Rilla-my-Rilla?' he asked, meaningly.
Emotion shook Rilla from head to foot. Joy -- happiness -- sorrow -- fear -- every passion that had wrung her heart in those four long years seemed to surge up in her soul for a moment as the deeps of being were stirred. She had tried to speak; at first voice would not come. Then -- 'Yeth,' said Rilla.'"


I'm sure there are others, from Stephen King, Charles Bukowski, John Steinbeck, my favourite YA books, and many more, but my sieve-like memory won't dredge them up for me.


One of the stories that always sticks with me is "The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf" by Hans Christian Andersen. Here are the last two lines, but they don't mean as much unless the reader recalls the story behind them:

"'See, yonder is a sea-gull!' cried the children, when they saw the white bird, as it dived into the sea, and rose again into the clear sunlight, white and glittering. But no one could tell whither it went then although some declared it flew straight to the sun."


And there's always T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets". From "Little Gidding":

"Quick now, here, now, always --
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one."


Finally, there're the last lines to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:

"At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland; and already they were singing again as they went. But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap. He drew a deep breath. 'Well, I'm back,' he said."


Insecure Writer's Support Group Day was yesterday!

This month's optional question is: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

Mine haven't changed too much. Hoping for eventual publication that sees one of my books in hard copy, and not just as an e-book. Also hoping to someday attend the Surrey International Writers' Conference!

Beyond that, the way I work has changed over time, with a little less procrastination and a little more activity. It might be nice to someday be an author who can put out at least one book a year, never mind two, plus short stories or novellas. Someday...


What are some of your favourite endings?

Comments

Now that would be a huge conference to attend!
Beth Camp said…
What a wonderful collection of last lines -- all inspirational. Makes me want to look again at all those last lines (including ones I've written). And don't we all wish for/work for improved writing productivity?
I like your selections. It's fun to see what lines appeal to other readers and writers.
sage said…
Joyce's last sentence is so long...

Have you read Georges Bernanos, "The Diary of a Country Priest"?

Ending: "'Does it matter? Grace is everywhere..."

I think he died just then."
Hi Deniz - some wonderful quotes - and if you get over this year or next year to BC ... I might come join you. A great thought idea though - cheers Hilary
I'm envious of the writers who can produce a book a year, but that won't happen as long as I'm working two jobs. But as long as I can keep writing, that's enough. And good luck with your writing too!
Nicki Elson said…
Less procrastination and more activity will get you there.

Ending lines...hmm, I'm going to have to look through my favorite books to see which ones had the best ending lines. Thanks for sharing yours.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by, all!
Will have to add that one to the wishlist, sage!

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