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
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.