If you thought your love life was hell, try reading these 30 heartrending, sad quotes from famous works of literature. Get those tissues ready!
History has shown us so many things through the books we read and the stories people tell. Some of them are true. A lot of them aren’t. But no matter where these words come from, they can still affect us all–especially when an author manages to connect with readers on a deeper level.
How does literature help with our feelings?
Most of the time, we read to entertain ourselves. But when we do choose an extraordinary book, story, or poem, we are pleasantly surprised to be taken in by the beauty of the stories, the personalities of the characters, and the lines that surpass time. Some of these lines are quite uplifting, while some can leave us in a state of despair. Some books don’t have happy endings, and that’s what makes the pain all the more real.
But we also experience pain in our daily lives. The most significant one is heartbreak. Our hearts break when we lose someone, when someone hurts us, and even when we bid loved ones farewell. Sometimes, however, we can’t put our feelings together. It could be that we can’t handle the pain, or we just don’t know what’s happening with our emotions.
That’s where art, music, and literature come in. Some of the best works can give us clarity or even a new perspective. If all else fails, it can show us that we’re pretty lucky compared to the characters in these books.
Remember that these are based on real people and genuine human reactions. They might not exist in real life, but their thoughts and feelings do.
30 saddest lines and passages from books
So, here are some heartbreaking lines that will help you sift through your feelings. Who knows? Maybe after reading some of these, you will find the answers you’re looking for.
Note: Some of these quotes may give away important plot points of the books they were taken from. Read at your own risk!
#1 “I know so many last words. But I will never know hers.” – John Green, Looking for Alaska
#2 “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” – J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
#3 “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
#4 “The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
#5 “I was too young to know how to love her.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
#6 “Rudy, please, wake up. Goddamn it, wake up, I love you. Come on, Rudy, come on, Jesse Owens, don’t you know I love you? Wake up, wake up, wake up…” – Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
#7 “Then she was pressing her little proud broken self against his face, as close as she could get, and then they died.” – Philip Pullman, The Subtle Knife
#8 “The heart dies a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves, until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains.” – Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
#9 “When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time–the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows, and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers.” – John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
#10 “I love you, too, but my time with you has passed.” – Garth Nix, Abhorsen
#11 “All the tears women shed, they leave no mark on the world…” – Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon
#12 “Don’t go where I can’t follow!” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers[Read: All the quotes you need while going through a breakup]
#13 “The trouble with miracles is, they don’t last long.” – Jerry Spinelli, Star Girl
#14 “Sometimes, we give the best of our hearts uncritically–to those who hardly think of us in return.” – T.H. White, The Once and Future King
#15 “Indeed–why should I not admit it?–in that moment, my heart was breaking.” – Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
#16 “If I said I was madly in love with you, you’d know I was lying.” – Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
#17 “You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.” – Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games
#18 “There is nothing so mortifying as to fall in love with someone who does not share one’s sentiments.” – Georgette Heyer, Venetia[Read: 11 compelling signs you’re facing unrequited love]
#19 “When you’re told there’s no way you can marry the woman you love and your only hope of being near her is to marry her sister, wouldn’t you do the same?” – Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
#20 “The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
#21 “I won’t ever leave you, even though you’re always leaving me.” – Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveller’s Wife
#22 “For Beatrice–My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not.” – Lemony Snicket, The Reptile Room
#23 “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” —Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
#24 “The heart was made to be broken.” — Oscar Wilde, The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde[Read: 10 cathartic love songs about the one that got away]
#25 “Once you had put the pieces back together, even though you may look intact, you were never quite the same as you’d been before the fall.” — Jodi Picoult, Second Glance
#26 “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
#27 “Sometimes, life has a cruel sense of humor, giving you the thing you always wanted at the worst time possible.” — Lisa Kleypas, Sugar Daddy
#28 “Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes, I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don’t.” — Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis
#29 “I think you are wrong to want a heart. It makes most people unhappy. If you only knew it, you are in luck not to have a heart.” — L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
#30 “No! You can’t get this close to me and then push me away.” — Courtney Allison Moulton, Angelfire
Remember: words are meant to express a certain thought or feeling. It does not mean that you should take things as they are. These lines are meant to open your mind to what’s really going on inside your heart.
If they helped you, we’re happy to have shown you that there are a lot of thoughts and passages in literature that can reflect what is going on with your life. You are not alone, and your heart won’t stay broken forever.