Thought Catalog

101 Of The Most Heartbreaking Lines In Literature

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101 Of The Most Heartbreaking Lines In Literature
Anthony Tran

1.

“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.” — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

2.

“I won’t ever leave you, even though you’re always leaving me.” — Clare Abshire, The Time Traveler’s Wife

3.

“Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.” — Ponyboy, The Outsiders

4.

“You see I usually find myself among strangers because I drift here and there trying to forget the sad things that happened to me.” — Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

5.

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” — Slim, Of Mice and Men

6.

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.” — Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

7.

“Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand.” — Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina

8.

“I don’t want you to miss all the things that someone else can give you.” – Will Traynor, Me Before You

9.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” — Jack Kerouac, On the Road

10.

“It is the things you cannot see coming that are strong enough to kill you.” — Sara Fitzgerald, My Sister’s Keeper

11.

“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” — Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale

12.

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” — Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

13.

“If I said I was madly in love with you you’d know I was lying.” — Scarlet O’Hara, Gone with the Wind

14.

“The scariest thing about distance is that you don’t know whether they’ll miss you or forget you.” — Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

15.

“Don’t go where I can’t follow!” — Samwise Gamgee, The Two Towers

16.

“I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried part of my life along with my dog.” — Billy Colman, Where the Red Fern Grows

17.

“You loved me-then what right had you to leave me? What right-answer me-for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart- you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” — Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights

18.

“The trouble with miracles is, they don’t last long.” — Archie, Stargirl

19.

“The heart was made to be broken.” — Oscar Wilde, The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde

20.

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?” — Cath Avery, Fangirl

21.

“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” — Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

22.

“‘Was it hard?”’ I ask. ‘Letting go?’ ‘Not as hard as holding on to something that wasn’t real.'” — Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me

23.

“No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.” — April Wheeler, Revolutionary Road

24.

“I know so many last words. But I will never know hers.” — Miles Halter, Looking for Alaska

25.

“Remember now and then that there is a man who would die to keep someone you love beside you” — Sydney Carton, A Tale of Two Cities

26.

“She had waited all her life for something, and it had killed her when it found her.” — Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

27.

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” — Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

28.

“The best thing, he knew, was to love just a little bit, so when they broke its back, or shoved it in a croaker sack, well, maybe you’d have a little love left over for the next one.” — Toni Morrison, Beloved

29.

“If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn’t be filled?” — Jodi Picoult, 19 Minutes

30.

“The heart dies a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains.” — Chiyo Sakamoto, Memoirs of a Geisha

31.

“Perhaps it was freedom itself that choked her.” — Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

32.

“The term ‘forgive and forget’ doesn’t make sense to me. Forgiving does allow us to stop dwelling on an issue, which isn’t always healthy. But if we forget, we don’t learn from our mistakes.” — Pierce, Abandon

33.

“You call yourself a free spirit, a ‘wild thing,’ and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself.” — Paul ‘Fred’ Varjak, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

34.

“You know, a heart can be broken, but it keeps on beating, just the same.” — Ninnie Threadgoode, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

35.

“Sometimes we get sad about things and we don’t like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t sad but we really are.” — Siobhan, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

36.

“Even death has a heart.” — Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

37.

“After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die.” — Charlotte, Charlotte’s Web

38.

“Anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for.” — Joseph Heller, Catch-22

39.

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” – Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

40.

“I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.” — Pablo Neruda, Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

41.

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.” — Charlie Gordon, Flowers for Algernon

42.

“You are meant to lose the people you love. How else would you know how important they are to you?” — Benjamin Button, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

43.

“I just can’t believe that life would give us to each other, and then take it back.” — Eleanor Douglas, Eleanor & Park

44.

“I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it – to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once.” — Midori, Norwegian Wood

45.

“The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.” — V.S. Naipaul, In a Free State

46.

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself. As if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” — Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars

47.

I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” ― Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story

48.

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

49.

“I’m lonely. And I’m lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the shit out of me to be this lonely because it seems catastrophic.” ― Augusten Burroughs, Dry

50.

“This is what it felt like to have a broken heart. It felt less like a cracking down the middle and more like she had swallowed it whole and it sat bruised and bleeding in the pit of her stomach.” — Wendy Wunder, The Probability of Miracles

51.

“Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved.” — Shug Avery, The Color Purple

52.

“To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

53.

“I learned that writing is the consolation prize you are given when you don’t get the thing you want the most.” ― Lang Leav, Sad Girls

54.

“I take no joy in mead nor meat, and song and laughter have become suspicious strangers to me. I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings. There is an empty place within me where my heart was once.” — Catelyn Stark, A Clash of Kings

55.

“Every night I cut out my own heart. But in the morning it was full again.” —
Almásy, The English Patient

56.

“There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.” ― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

57.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

58.

“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

59.

“Breathing is hard. When you cry so much, it makes you realize that breathing is hard.” — David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law

60.

“It never occurred to me that our lives, until then so closely interwoven, could unravel and separate over a thing like that. But the fact was, I suppose, there were powerful tides tugging us apart by then, and it only needed something like that to finish the task. If we’d understood that back then-who knows?-maybe we’d have kept a tighter hold of one another.” — Kathy, Never Let Me Go

61.

“With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not.” — Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

62.

“It’s a wonder I’m even alive. Sometimes I think that. I think that I can’t believe I haven’t killed myself. But there’s something in me that just keeps going on. I think it has something to do with tomorrow, that there is always one, and that everything can change when it comes.” ― Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors

63.

“True art was based upon despair, and the important thing was to make yourself and those around you as miserable as possible.” ― David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

64.

“Stupid dreams. Even the good ones are bad, because they remind you how poorly reality measures up.” — Connor Lassiter, Unwind

65.

“What she had realized was that love was that moment when your heart was about to burst.” ― Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

66.

“He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.” — Dolores Haze, Lolita

67.

“It’s the only way to leave. ‘I don’t love you anymore. Goodbye.'” — Alice, Closer

68.

“When someone you loved was depending on your lie, it was perfectly easy.” — Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies

69.

“I am weary of all our sad stories—not hearing them, but that we have these stories to tell, that there are so many.” — Roxane Gay, Hunger

70.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

71.

“No one wants to listen to our sad stories unless they are smoothed over with a joke or nice melody. And even then, not always. No one wants to hear a woman talking or writing about pain in a way that suggests that it doesn’t end.” — Jessica Valenti, Sex Object

72.

“He experienced the singular pleasure of watching people he loved fall in love with other people he loved.” ― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life

73.

“Sometimes you know in your heart you love someone, but you have to go away before your head can figure it out.” ― Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons

74.

“There is not even a Scrabble word for how bad I feel.” ― E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

75.

“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.” — Maxon Schreave, The One

76.

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” — Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness

77.

“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.” ― Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

78.

Quote

79.

“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.” — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

80.

“We go on our hands and knees and crawl our way towards the truth” ― Ian McEwan, Atonement

81.

“If we think of life as a kind of Olympic games, some of life’s crises are sprints. They require maximum emotional concentration for a short time. Then they are over, and life returns to normal. But other crises are distance events. They ask us to maintain our concentration over a much longer period of time, and that can be a lot harder.” ― Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People

82.

“Those who kept silent yesterday will remain silent tomorrow.” ― Elie Wiesel, Night

83.

“If he touched her, he couldn’t talk to her, if he loved her he couldn’t leave, if he spoke he couldn’t listen, if he fought he couldn’t win.” ― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

84.

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

85.

“Love isn’t soft, like those poets say. Love has teeth which bite and the wounds never close.” ― Stephen King, The Body

86.

“God is in his heaven and he don’t care most of the time. The trick of life is to know when God does care and do all you need to do behind his back.” ― Edward P. Jones, The Known World

87.

“Life is a hurricane, and we board up to save what we can and bow low to the earth to crouch in that small space above the dirt where the wind will not reach. We honor anniversaries of deaths by cleaning graves and sitting next to them before fires, sharing food with those who will not eat again. We raise children and tell them other things about who they can be and what they are worth: to us, everything. We love each other fiercely, while we live and after we die. We survive; we are savages.” ― Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped

88.

“Even under the best of circumstances, there’s just something so damn tragic about growing up.” ― Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You

89.

“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” — Thomas Schell Sr., Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

90.

“People always say that, when you love someone, nothing in the world matters. But that’s not true, is it? You know, and I know, that when you love someone, everything in the world matters a little bit more.” ― Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

91.

“You have to believe it and you hate it. I don’t have to and I think it’s beautiful.” ― Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

92.

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.” ― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

93.

“How was it possible that entire lives could change, could be destroyed, and that streets and buildings remained the same, she wondered.” ― Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key

94.

“Heaven is comfort, but it’s still not living.” ― Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

95.

“And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.” — Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

96.

“Everybody’s damaged by something.” ― Emma Donoghue, Room

97.

“Owning a dog always ended with this sadness because dogs just don’t live as long as people do.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

98.

“I was too young to know how to love her.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

99.

““I’d forgotten how much feelings hurt.” — Alice, Living Dead Girl

100.

“Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” — Veronica Roth, Insurgent

101.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” — Charlie Kelmeckis, The Perks of Being a Wallflower TC mark

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This is for the women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea. This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls. The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts. This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it. This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence. The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times. This — is for you.

“When Janne has a new poem written, I shut my life down to do nothing but read it, and then when I turn my life back on, everything is better.” — James Altucher

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