My Favorite Opening Line – The Classics Club’s June meme

To be honest, I had to think over and over again to decide which opening sentence from a classic novel that I should call my favorite. And just so you know, if only the question was “What is your favourite closing sentence from a classic novel (and why)?” I would answer it easily, without thinking too much! Hehe.

Well, because the question was “What is your favourite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why)?” then my answer is below:

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

From Nineteen-Eighty Four (1984) by George Orwell

1984cover

There is something weird and abnormal about this sentence, which I think fits the mood of a dystopian novel perfectly. April is usually bright alright, but cold? (I don’t live in a four-season country, so honestly I can’t really tell) And then  there was the suspicious clock.

When I was searching for what makes this opening sentence so special, I found this blog post on Shmoop News; titled The 25 Best Opening Lines in Western Literature. Not only the opening lines and its source, this blog post also provides a rather witty commentary or “creative thought process” for every opening line. Here’s what the post said about 1984’s opening line:

To properly set the mood for a futuristic dystopia, combine the elements of springtime, coldness, an unlucky number, and bells tolling. Then, watch people fight over the feasibility of a clock that can strike thirteen.

So that was my favorite opening sentence from a classic novel. I like it because it’s mysterious and curiously brilliant.

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10 thoughts on “My Favorite Opening Line – The Classics Club’s June meme

  1. Haha….yeah, it’s very intriguing. The first time I read it here, I instantly said in my mind: what, 13??
    This book is in my WEM project list, so I’ll read it eventually. I hope I will enjoy it then.

    • This book is rather confusing, but the lesson was superb, and it was well-written. Orwell’s unthinkable imagination made me give it 5 stars, but I don’t think that it’s a book that I would enjoy reading for the second time, eheheh.

  2. I’ve read this line before, and recall thinking it freaky. It really does set the mood!…I like that you shared the commentary on it as well…am looking forward to reading the link you’ve provided. :)

    Incidentally, I hope to get to 1984 some time soon.

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