11 of literature’s best closing lines

Crafting a powerful opening line can be difficult, but the way writers close stories can also pack a punch. Here are several to consider.

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Lead sentences are often the deciding factor in whether readers keep reading. This is why we writers struggle so desperately to find the perfect opening lines.

Closing lines are a different story.

They’re not nearly as troublesome for corporate communicators—but in fiction, an author’s final lines can provide closure, leave readers hanging or take the story in an entirely new direction.

For inspiration, here are a few outstanding closing lines from literature:

1. “But, in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of the small band of true friends who witnessed the ceremony, were fully answered in the perfect happiness of the union.”—”Emma,” by Jane Austen

2. “I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.”—”Wuthering Heights,” by Emily Bronte

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