Best 50 Quotes from Books and their Explanations
Perhaps a string of dialogue or the first sentence, there a particular parts of books that just instantly click and feel memorable. And, whether they are sad, inspirational, or simply relevant, they tend to stick with us even long after turning the concluding pages. So, we are going to look at some of those incredible quotes that stood out. Here is a list of the best 50 quotes from books and their explanations.
“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
John Green through this line in Looking for Alaska was suggesting that the only way to survive is to forgive and accept what there is. We must not beat ourselves for the elements that are not in our control, such as death. The only way to continue is to forgive and live with it as you can’t control those unfortunate events.
“After all, tomorrow is another day.”
We don’t know our life span, however, as long as we are here tomorrow will come. And, through this line from Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell gave a positive suggestion. Perhaps we had a bad experience today, but we have tomorrow, another day. We can change whatever is in our hands. There will be a new day and new opportunity as long as there is another day.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
This quote from Perks of Being Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is one of my all-time favourites. It is one of those quotes that will stay with you. This means that we should value ourselves more, or else we would end up with someone who will not value what we are. It is about not restricting yourself by explaining your limitations to yourself.
“Ever’body’s askin’ that. ‘What we comin’ to? Seems to me we don’t never come to nothin’. Always on the way.”
This quotation is stated by Cathy in Grapes of Wrath written by John Steinbeck. Grapes of Wrath like many other classic novels concludes the chapter without a conclusion. It is open for interpretation. This line suggests that there is no epilogue in a journey. It continues. We are going somewhere but, we are not reaching anywhere at the same time.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is not the typical romantic love story. It is love beyond existence, flaws, class, and conflict. Though Catherine got engaged to Linton, she confides in Nelly with this quote. She implied that Heathcliff and her share the same soul, the bad, the imperfection, the flaws, the love, all of that they have are the same.
“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
Their Eyes Were Watching God is based on African-American literature and feminism, excellently written by Zora Neale Hurston. The primary character of the story Janie sets out in search of her own identity, which also involves three marriages and an expedition back to her roots. It is this journey, the question of existence that we as humans ask and think of. However, some years will answer, we don’t know when and how.
“It is nothing to die; it is dreadful not to live.”
This quotation by Victor Hugo from Les Misérables is suggested by several other writers such as Oscar Wilde and William Wallace. It means death is predictable and unavoidable. Death is not dreadful. The real dread is in existing like a deceased being when we are alive. It suggests living when you are alive, being in the moment, and not thinking of death. It will come when it has to.
“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
Haruki Murakami in his novel Kafka on the Shore focuses on the genre of magical realism which means it deals with reality on a deeper level. This quote defines realistic human emotions. We dwell with memory, we often hold on to it to go on. Even though it offers a warm feeling but it also comes with the fact that it is a memory, something that happened in the past.
“When you play the game of thrones you win or die”
It implies the general justification of a conflict, if you win it is great however, losing means the inevitability of death. This quotation from Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin demands that if you are playing the game you must do everything to win the throne, or you depart. Some of these characters from the series are Stannis, Cersei, Robert, Littlefinger, and Varys.
“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”
This quotation from Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote makes you think about confidence. Having confidence or faith in someone or something means you can rely on. In this case that someone is you. If you think about it on a profound level, you have received motivation from others, but the confidence comes from within. Hence, you owe yourself a lot.
“Call Me Ishmael”
This line from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick suggests several notions. It can be a reference to the biblical Ishmael who was lost. This line also suggests that even though he is the first person narrator, he is unreliable and this could be a pseudonym.
“It was a pleasure to burn”
Guy Montag, a fireman is the protagonist of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. He lives in a society where people believe that all those books that can provoke people or inspire rebellion are dangerous for society. According to them, all those books should be burned. Guy states this line as he believes he is doing a patriotic duty by helping the world get rid of provocative material.
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
This quotation from Harry Potter the Sorcerer’s Stone is a reminder. It suggests that dwelling on what could happen in the future and what might have been in the past is distracting. This thought distracts us from being present. We are powerful in the present. This is the time when we can do better than in the past and do better for the future. So, dwell in the present moment.
“I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast, and I’m not really living it.”
This quotation is by Ernest Hemingway from The Sun Also Rises. It is a statement that every individual suffers from while going through an existential crisis. We say this to ourselves while looking for a purpose, an individuality to stand out and grow. When we are so tired and yet people are achieving things. There are people out there who are living their life and what am I doing?
“Each time you happen to me all over again.”
This is one of the most romantic quotes in literature written by Edith Wharton in Age of Innocence. It implies cherishing the moment of someone you love or adore newly every time. Newland said he hardly remembered Ellen because it is a new her every time they meet and then kiss her hand. He is implying the effect Ellen has on him.
“There is always something left to love.”
Garcia Marquez’s magnum opus One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel that explains his hold on magical realism. This quotation explains a positive note. No matter what we do have a little of bit love left in this world. We might feel pessimistic about existence and this dread of survival. However, we can always look for love, because it is there.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
This quotation is from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. It is something we need to remind ourselves every day like an affirmation. Even though we have time today, why are waiting for tomorrow? Why are we making a to-do list at 5 pm, when you have the rest of the evening to complete some of the tasks? Charles Dickens suggests don’t wait for tomorrow.
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
This popular quotation from 1984 by George Orwell is a reminder of we must identify the source of every information we receive. It states that the most essential and crucial thing is to control the present because that is what enables you to be in charge of the past and consequently the future.
“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
This line from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers suggests the primary thing that keeps us going – Hope. If you want to give up, feel helpless, and uninspired. You need to fight for what you have, as there is always something nice in this world. We all as humans manage to find something that we can hold on to, things that are worth fighting for.
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote from Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History is one of the most popular lines in feminist literature. It implies that to change the world and create a difference you need to be bold and have a voice. The quote suggests compliant and quiet scarcely get recognized or credit for their achievements.
“The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
This quotation from Diary by Chuck Palahniuk suggests that death will occur someday. However, you can create something that will live for a lifetime. You must dedicate your life to finding that certain thing and creating something of your own out of it. There should always be a purpose in your life and you must live with it.
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”
David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is a science fiction text. This quote suggests how far you are willing to go. Can you let go of your reticence and beyond doubt experience the world that exists around you? You need to be more open to adventure to comprehend your true self.
“None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.”
We often meet people after years and feel like a lot has changed. This line by Anne Rice from The Vampire Lestat means that we just become more aware of ourselves as time passes by. We never change, we come to terms with our emotions and become more self-aware. You might feel you have changed as you handle things differently, understand others better, and prioritize yourself above others, and more.
“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.”
This quotation from The Five People You Meet in Heaven reflects wisdom. Mitch Albom suggests we should always look around and live to move forward. If we are done with an aim or something significant in our life that means something else is coming our way. We must look out for it and be hopeful about the future.
“The only limits for tomorrow are the doubts we have today.”
Pittacus Lore in The Power of Six avers a simple thing. If there is one thing that can stop your tomorrow is you. It is your doubts that will fail to give you a better tomorrow. When you are doubtful about the present day, you are certainly going to restrict your opportunities for tomorrow.
“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
A dream is not just a goal or an aim. It is also a visionary creation of our imagination. This quote from Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami means that to desire the future we want is far more pleasant than our present. Hence, Murakami believes that dreaming is often the correct thing to do.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
This quote suggests that just because you don’t have a fixed home. Or, just because you are adventurous and love to explore, that doesn’t mean you are lost. You are possibly closer to your true self. Perhaps you are more aware and prepared, mentally, physically, and spiritually. You are more capable to understand, adapt, and live life in a better way.
“If you’re making mistakes it means you’re out there doing something.”
Neil Gaiman through this line from Make Good Art put forward a very positive note. It suggests that you should never be afraid of making mistakes. We all make mistakes when we try our hands on things we are not familiar with. However, imagine if everyone stops trying for fear of making mistakes. Even if you are making mistakes, you are pushing yourself and learning things from them.
“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
This proverb from Brida by Paulo Coelho suggests that even a generally unreliable person can provide the correct information about something, even if accidentally.
“To define is to limit.”
This quotation from The Picture of Dorian Gray gives a profound message. If we define something, it gets limited and confined within the parameters. Hence, fails to grow and be something more than the given meaning. According to Oscar Wilde, when we chose to give a definition, we are compromising the final result and restricting the probability of the intent.
“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
This quotation from The Art of War by Sun Tzu suggests you be tricky with your enemy. Do what they want to do. In case you are weak, you should be the only person to know that you are sick. If you are strong, act weak to make them feel overconfident, and that’s when you hit.
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
Jack Kerouac implies through this quote that to express yourself to other people you don’t need to utilize a mountain of words. When you use complex, rare, and complicated words it fails to create intimacy with the reader. So, as long as you have the right set of words, you will be more relatable, simple, and understandable.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
This quotation is from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. We often complain about not having enough time or question the purpose of our existence. However, the essential aspect that we need to understand is, how we are dealing with the time we have in our hand. The significant factor is to do the best when you have control over something.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
Haruki Murakami like all other works talks about a profound feeling and this quotation offers an inspiring message. Like death, pain is inevitable – physical pain, aging, being sick, mentally weak, and more. However, you can choose if you want to suffer or not. You can choose to recognize the suffering and do things to channel it in a way that helps you grow.
“Above all don’t lie to yourself.”
This quote is from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It implies that no matter what be honest to your self. As human beings, we go through situations when we have to adjust to the situation. However, don’t be so hard on yourself that you keep denying your emotions and lie about what you feel.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Every art is distinct for every individual and that is the beauty of art. What you will feel after watching a painting or portrait will be different from how someone else will visualize it. This quote by Thomas Merton implies you can either be entirely devoted in appreciation of it. Or, also find yourself and new meaning of life in it.
“If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”
This quotation is from Paper Towns by John Green. It is a fact that nothing happens the way we imagine it. However, nothing will ever happen if we don’t visualize it. Living a perfect life, this world being a better place, if you want to create any difference to yourself or the world, you need to imagine. You have to visualize your future and then only you can work on it.
“Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.”
Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress is a techno-thriller novel. This quotation implies that we often just feel hopeless after trying for a while. It may seem impossible. Perhaps you are almost there. Reaching life goals are all about persistence. You need to keep working on it. If you choose to stay consistent then nothing is impossible.
“Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.”
This line from Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks states the most heard motivational line. If you ever feel like anything would be easy then you are wrong. Ask yourself why you are seeking it. If it was so easy then there would be no competition for it. It is hard because it is worthwhile so don’t give up, it’s worth fighting for.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we‘re free to do anything.”
This quotation by Chuck Palahniuk from Fight Club means that we try to hold onto everything. Our status, belongings, people, etc. everything is dear to us. However, when we are liberated from material needs that is when we are truly free. It is about time that we realize that tranquillity comes before material attachment.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
This quote is from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In this book, the line juxtaposes French Revolution era London and Paris and several characters dwelling in those cities. It implies that somehow the best reflects the worst, the light reflects the darkness, and similarly, our hopes reflect the despair like a mirror.
“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.”
The Bell Jar is a semi-autobiographical novel by Sylvia Plath. Plath implies the suffocation of existence through this statement. She refers to this world as a nightmare itself. And, in the bell jar humans exist without hope, purpose, and numbness. This book itself reflects a lot of existentialism, and alienation, and deals with profound psychological issues.
“He was dancing, dancing. He says that he’ll never die.”
This quotation is the epilogue of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. No one can be sure if the judge is a human or some supernatural being. He can dance like a father despite being 7ft tall. The judge says he will never stop existing. This section is open for interpretation. It is for the readers to decide how they want to see the novel.
“We’re all damaged, somehow.”
The truth in this quote from Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty is undeniable. We are all suffering. Some people choose not to suffer and chase different things to keep themselves distracted. Then some people are clueless. But, we all are equally damaged by the different experiences we came across. There is a sense of solace in knowing that I am not alone, but we all wish we were not broken.
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
This quotation by William Goldman from The Princess Bride is the most authentic statement. We are all selling something, time, talent, self-esteem, and more. Life is not always like cotton color and satin dreams. It is painful and you have to go on. You can choose your own; however, the pain is inevitable. People who say otherwise are deceitful.
“That is the one unforgivable sin in any society. Be different and be damned!”
Through this quote from Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell states a rather disturbing but the fact about society. You are not allowed to be unconventional and do things that are different from others. Once, you commit that you will be damned. You will be judged, questioned, and banned by society that failed to understand you. As disturbing as it sounds, we know it’s the truth.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
This line by Marcus Aurelius in Meditations urges us to not believe whatever we hear and see. Our eyes often deceive us, so what we perceive is probably not the truth and just a fabricated perspective. Similarly, everything we are hearing is someone else’s opinion, though well-informed, still it is an opinion. There is a knowing beyond our senses.
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
Time is like a cycle. We keep coming back to the past in our present time. William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun is a sequel to Sanctuary. In this story, the character Temple, who is presently married with a child must find out how to deal with a chaotic past as related in Sanctuary. This explains how the past is not even past, as we can live the history in our present.
“It was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.”
Stranger by Albert Camus is profoundly based on absurdism and the outcome of being different, and unconventional. Throughout this text, he repeatedly gets struck by the thought that his mother has departed. The reason for this persistent realization is that he never let out any emotion about her demise. This text is a must-read as it deals with how we often get familiar with an inner emotion in our daily monotonous life. And, as we don’t know how to process it, we tend to not acknowledge our feelings and live like a mere machines.
“Ask no questions and you’ll be told no lies.”
This quotation from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens suggests that there is no correct or accurate answer. Hence, it is better to ask no questions at all. This statement is also a warning that there is nobody able or willing to offer you a factual answer for a query.
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