"As you from crimes would pardoned be, let your indulgence set me free" is the last written work of William Shakespeare, comprising the last lines of his final play, "The Tempest." It is his way of bidding farewell to an audience that had enjoyed 37 plays and over 100 sonnets.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" ends with the haunting sentence "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." This chilling elegy on the hopelessness of optimism shows how people try to move on, day after day, in pursuit of their dreams, only to be pushed inexorably back into the past, with those dreams still tantalizingly out in front of them.
"He loved Big Brother" is the short sentence that brings George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" to a close. The fact that Winston Smith, after having fought so long for his own intellectual independence, ends up broken and defeated in a bar, crying with joy in love for the brutal force that he had so long hated, shows the hopelessness at work in Orwell's worldview.
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, ends with the haunted line "Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." This line evokes the mysterious isolation in which so many teens ensconce themselves, refusing to show their vulnerabilities to anyone.