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22 Literary Quotes Everyone Knows (Even If They Haven’t Read the Book)

Literary classics have only one job, and if you guessed that it’s to represent the period they’re from while also serving as timeless expressions of life, truth, and beauty, then you’re wrong.

Their job, obviously, is be iconic—to give the world instantly recognizable quotes that people can share on Facebook for likes. And that’s just one way to tell if a literary line has reached iconic status. Another is by searching Etsy and seeing how many people are selling tote bags of it for $35 plus shipping. 

And the third? Well, the third way to tell if a quote is iconic is if it made this list.

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