Here's a heads-up about this Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie - it is very difficult to get into, but stick with it. The story does liven up!
"Ah, the promise of the night. What does it not hold for the weary!...The dullest feel something which they may not always express or describe. It is the lifting of the burden of toil."
"In the sunshine of the morning, beneath the wide, blue heavens, with a fresh wind astir, what fears, excepts the most desperate, can find a harbourage?"
"...her heart revolted."
"Here come the moths, in endless procession, to bask in the light of the flame."
"The true meaning of money yet remains to be popularly explained and comprehended. When each individual realises for himself that this thing primarily stands for and should only be accepted as a moral due - that it should be paid out as honestly stored energy and not as a usurped privilege - many of our social, religious, and political troubles will have permanently passed."
"The unintellectual are not so helpless. Nature has taught the beasts of the field to fly when some unheralded danger threatens."
"...how dispiriting are the days during which the sun with holds a portion of our allowance of light and warmth. We are more dependent upon these things than is often thought."
"The voice of the so-called inanimate! Who shall translate for us the language of the stones?"
"She [Carrie] has the aptitude of the struggler who seeks emancipation. The glow of a more showy life was not lost upon her. She did not grow in knowledge so much as she awakened in the matter of desire."
"People in general attach too much importance to words. They are under the illusion that talking effects great results. As a matter of fact, words are, as a rule, the shallowest portion of all the argument. They but dimly represent the great surging feelings and desires which lie behind. When the distraction of the tongue is removed, the heart listens."
"I know too much of the world."
"Toil, now that she was free of it, seemed even a more desolate thing than when she was part of it."
"Like all human beings, she had a touch of vanity."
"Oh, blessed are the children of endeavor in this, that they try and are hopeful. And blessed also are they who, knowing, smile and approve."
"Men are still led by instinct before they are regulated by knowledge."
"most people are not capable of voicing their feelings. They depend upon others. That is what genius is for. One man expresses their desires for them in music; another one in poetry; another one in a play. Sometimes nature does it in a face - it makes the face representative of all desires."
"Man has not yet comprehended the dreamer any more than he has the ideal."
"Oh, the tangle of human life!"
"Not evil, but longing for that which is better, more often directs the steps of the erring. Not evil, but goodness more often allures the feeling mind unused to reason."
"Oh, blind strivings of the human heart! Onward, onward, it saith, and where beauty leads, there it follows. Whether it be the tinkle of a lone sheep bell o'er some quiet landscape, or the glimmer of beauty in sylvan places, or the show of soul in some passing eye, the heart knows and makes answer, following. It is when the feet weary and hope seems vain that the heartaches and the longings arise. Know, then, that for you is neither surfeit nor content. In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel."