40+ Life-Changing Famous Literary Quotes Tips & Guides

40+ Life-Changing Famous Literary Quotes

Tips & Guides

We believe that words have the power to alter the course of your personal story. Here are 40 life-changing messages in the form of famous literary quotes.

40+ Life-Changing Famous Literary Quotes

Words. Some prefer to write and some prefer to read, but the commonality between words is that they hold power. A few simple phrases could alter your mindset, turn your life around, or even motivate you to do that one thing you have been pushing off. 

In every story, words give us the ability to view the picture within our minds. These stories, whether they are about a princess, pirate, madman, or monster, possess a greater moral behind the words. 

Usually, there’s always that one altering quote, the small phrase that a character says when the hero is just about to give up. I call this famous literary quote: ‘the turning point’. 

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These are words that take the story in a whole new direction and shed light on its true purpose. The most important part is the greater lesson they express to the reader. Reading between the lines allows us to gain a new perspective or strengthen the values we already held. The knowledge we gain from books  can be truly empowering. 

The stories we read and the words we hold have the power to impact our own personal stories. We are the authors of our own lives, but maybe we could consider your favorite famous literary quotes ‘contributing writers’ in your story. They are your favorites for some reason—perhaps because it resonates with you because it’s relatable in your life. 

Long story short: literature has the ability to change lives. 

In an effort to inspire liberating, new adventures in your own life stories, we have collected our favorite famous literary quotes…  

Quotes from Classic Literature 

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Authors have this fantastic ability to not only entertain us, but open our minds to a wider perspective and really make us think at the same time.

Classic literature, though on the surface may seem boring, are filled with magical and whimsical ideals that all evoke a bigger idea. These stories are an escape from reality, and yet so easily relatable to our own lives. Authors like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain have carved the model for novels and created this structure for stories to come. 

The most important piece of this puzzle is of course the memorable literary quotes that have come out of these timeless tales. Many of these books are old, I’m not going to lie, but the great part about them is that the stories themselves never seem to age. Their impact on those who flip through the pages is never-ending. After all, these are called classics for a reason. 

Dive deeper into the lessons of the stories you may have been forced to read in your high school english class and appreciate their famous literary quotes that could very well change your life… 

  • “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • “I have been bent and broken, but— I hope— into a better shape.” —Charles Dickens, Great Expectations 
  • “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” —Truman Capote, Breakfast At Tiffany’s 
  • “The thing is—fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.” —William Golding, Lord of the Flies 
  • “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” —Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland 
  • “Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.” —Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man 
  • “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick 
  • "It’s in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present" —Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
  • "It's much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it." —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina 
  • “If you tell the truth you do not need a good memory.” —Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • “You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” —Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
  • "Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs." —Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre 

Quotes from Poetry 

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Poetry is a special kind of literature, and like any other type of writing, can display a deeper message. Though it may take an extra step to write, the impact of the story seems so much deeper. 

Poems are composed of mostly symbolism, which allows each reader to interpret the underlying message in a different way. As for myself, I enjoy reading poems (especially ones that rhyme) because the story feels like it moves along a bit quicker and the short verses are easier to grasp, compared to a dense paragraph. Poetry is a beautiful art that has the ability to evoke new points of view, giving you the opportunity to evolve your mindset. 

Enjoy these little snippets from some of these well-known poets and open your mind to new perspectives as you read these famous literary quotes from poems… 

“Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning.” —Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

  • “To be or not to be: that is the question” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet 
  • “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the road less traveled by” —Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken 
  • “Every time I travel I meet myself a little more.” —Yrsa Daley-Ward, Coordinates 
  • “Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without words And never stops at all.” —Emily Dickinson, Hope is the Thing With Feathers 
  • “You can trodme in the very dirt, but still like dust, I rise.” —Maya Angelou, Still I Rise 
  • “Be an outcast, Be pleased to walk alone.” —Alice Walker, Be Nobody’s Darling 
  • “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” —Walt Whitman, Song of Myself 
  • “To live a little better and  always be forgiving, to add a little sunshine to the world in which we are living.” —Helen Steiner Rice, A New Beginning 
  • “Life’s battles don’t always go To the stronger or faster man,But soon or late the man who wins Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN!” —Walter D. Wintle, The Man Who Thinks He Can 

Quotes from Romantic Literature 

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What is life without love? According to romantic literature, love is what makes the world go round.

The ‘L word’ is one that can mean so many different things. I believe that everything we do in life should be led by love, whether that is the love we have for our family and friends, a significant other, or for ourselves. Of course, romance novels can give us those fairy tale, perfect love stories we crave in reality, but what I value from romantic literature most is the literary quotes that teach us how to love. 

Love is an instinct, we know how to love before we learn how to read. It’s an intense feeling and literature can act as a guide on how to express those feelings, as well as differentiate different types of love. 

If you are still navigating how to show others love or are a hopeless romantic like myself, I know you will enjoy the famous literary quotes we have collected on love… 

  • “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights 
  • “If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love.” —George Orwell, 1984
  • “Who, being loved, is poor?” —Oscar Wilde, A Woman Of Importance 
  • “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further.” —Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
  • “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.” —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” ―Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
  • “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
  • “We love the things we love for what they are.” —Robert Frost, Hyla Brook
  • “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” ―Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
  • “I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.” ―Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

Quotes from Children’s Literature

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Who says you are too old to enjoy the books you grew up with? 

Maybe your favorite children’s book is a classic fairy tale or the book your mom used to read to you before tucking you in. Since these stories are based around life lessons, it makes it all the more important to read them at such a young age. 

Though you may not have picked up one of these stories for decades, consider reading them again with an adult’s perspective and think about how these words can be applied to your life today. Whether it’s the important lesson of The Tortoise and the Hair or a special reminder that there is “no place like home” in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, children’s books and the words within them continue to resonate with many generations, no matter how many years of your life have gone by. 

Excite the child within you, and reminisce with these famous literary quotes from children’s literature… 

  • “Promise me you’ll be braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think.” —A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh 
  • “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” —Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse 
  • "Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow." —Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden 
  • “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
  • “The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.” —L. Frank Braum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” —Shiamin Kwa, Mulan
  • “The more he gave away, the more delighted he became.” —Marcus Pfister, The Rainbow Fish
  • “But all the magic I have known. I’ve had to make myself.” —Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • “Real isn’t how you are made, It’s a thing that happens to you.” —Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit 
  • “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” —Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You! 
  • “Never hurry and never worry!” —E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web 
  • “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” —Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables 

The simplicity of children’s book quotes make them the perfect daily reminders to hold close. Conveniently, our new selection of book jewelry makes this easy, especially our book bracelet. Whether it’s a gift for a loved one or a special something for yourself, these meaningful pieces help keep your life story on course… 

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For more blog posts for book lovers, check out the below… 

Julia Mazzella





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