September 4, 2020

16 Quotes from our Favorite Classics to Melt our Hearts. 

When I chose to pursue literature as a major, only a handful of people supported my bold decision.

Why would anyone want to go to college and not be able to make a decent living afterward?

For me, I’ve always known that whatever is done in love is a success. Somehow, deep down, I feel that living is more important than “making it.” Living means doing the things I’m most passionate about: books, theater, movies, art, music, education, and love. Then literature came along and combined them all.

Today, to celebrate the decision I made when I was barely 18, I would like to share these metamorphic quotes from classics I studied back in school, then reread and enjoyed later as a woman:

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.” 

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death; and flung it back to me. People feel with their hearts, Ellen, and since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him.”

3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

“There is something so awe-inspiring in great afflictions that even in the worst times, the first emotion of a crowd has generally been to sympathise with the sufferer in a great catastrophe.”

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions seem still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”

6. Dubliners by James Joyce

“It was hard work—a hard life—but now that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life.”

7. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but—I hope—into a better shape.”

8. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

“Some of you say, ‘Joy is greater than sorrow,’ and others say, ‘Nay, sorrow is the greater.’ But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”

9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“But the law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.”

10. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself.”

11. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight.”

12. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

“I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality—for yourself not for others—what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”

13. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoesvsky

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”

14. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams—this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness—and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”

15. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

“Physical beauty is passing—a transitory possession—but beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart—I have all these things—aren’t taken away but grow! Increase with the years!”

16. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

“Vladimir: Did I ever leave you?
Estragon: You let me go.”



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