Monday, October 20, 2014

My Favorite Epigraphs: Part One

What is an epigraph, you ask. An Epigraph is a short quote that precedes a piece of literature and is intended to suggest the theme of the piece, it can also be a short inscription on a statue or building, but today I'm only concerned with the literary definition.

I've always loved epigraphs and when I find one that fits perfectly with the story, I tend to get a little emotional. (Ya I know, I'm a weird literature geek) The other day I came across one epigraph that made me stop right in my tracks and think for a good ten minutes, it of course made me a little emotional as well, but that epigraph inspired this post. Today I'll share five of my favorite epigraphs and as I discover more, I will share them in following posts.

I will start with the epigraph I spoke of earlier.

Epigraph for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein 
"Did I request thee,
Maker, from my clay
To mould me man?
Did I solicit thee
From Darkness to
Promote me?"
-Paradise Lost

Epigraph for Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451
"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way"
- Juan Ramon Jimenez

Epigraph for Graham Green's The Quiet American 
"This is the patent age of new inventions
For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
All propagated with the best intentions."
- Lord Byron

Epigraph for Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once"
-Charles Lamb

Epigraph for Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises 
"You are all a lost generation."
-Gertrude Stein

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