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54 ‘Little Women’ Quotes for Every Woman and Sister Who Loves and Dreams

Dayna Remus
Aug 14, 2022
04:00 P.M.
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While not without its fair share of critiques, Louisa May Alcott's novel "Little Women," published in the late 1800s, is still considered by some to be a feminist masterpiece. Read these quotes by some of the most influential female characters in literature.

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"Little Women" is a semi-autobiographical account of its author Louisa May Alcott's life. It tells the story of Jo March, the protagonist, and her three sisters growing up during the American Civil War.

Jo, a writer, is adamant about staying unmarried; her sister Amy March wishes to become a painter and marry rich, Beth March chooses music until facing her untimely death, while Meg March follows a life of domestic love and poverty.

The novel shows the path these different personalities take and the consequences of these choices that befall them because of being a woman during this historical period. More than that, the heart of "Little Women" is the way it shines a light on the beauty of sisterhood.

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Read these 54 inspiring quotes from all four March sisters and dare to love and dream like they did.

 Jo March’s quote: “I just feel, like, women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty.” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “I just feel, like, women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty.” | Image: AmoDays

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BETH MARCH QUOTES

"You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone." — Beth March

"Meg is the turtle-dove." — Beth March

"Amy is like the lark she writes about, trying to get up among the clouds but always dropping down into its nest again. Dear little girl! She’s so ambitious, but her heart is good and tender, and no matter how high she flies, she never will forget home. I hope I shall see her again…." — Beth March

"I don't want to go out, but I wish I could hear all the music." — Beth March

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"I never saw myself as anything much." — Beth March

Beth March’s quote: “It's like the tide going out. It goes out slowly, but it can't be stopped.” | Image: AmoDays

Beth March’s quote: “It's like the tide going out. It goes out slowly, but it can't be stopped.” | Image: AmoDays

“We can't stop God's will.” — Beth March

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“There are many Beth’s in the world, shy and quiet, sitting in corners till needed and living for others so cheerfully that no one sees the sacrifices till the little cricket on the hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind.” — Beth March

“I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is leaving you all. I’m not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven.— Beth March

“It's like the tide going out. It goes out slowly, but it can't be stopped.” — Beth March

"I don't see how you can write such splendid things, Jo! You're a regular Shakespeare." — Beth March

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Beth March’s quote: "Meg is the turtle-dove." | Image: AmoDays

Beth March’s quote: "Meg is the turtle-dove." | Image: AmoDays

MEG MARCH QUOTES

“Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.” — Meg March

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"I don’t want a fashionable wedding, but only those about me whom I love, and to them, I wish to look and be my familiar self." — Meg March

“I know you are angry, John. I don't mean to waste your money. I try to be contented, but it’s so hard. I’m tired of being poor.” — Meg March

"You are the rudest boy I ever saw."— Meg March

"I shall never go and marry anyone." — Meg March

Meg March’s quote: “Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.” | Image: AmoDays

Meg March’s quote: “Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.” | Image: AmoDays

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"[Talking about Jo] What shall we do with that girl? She never will behave like a young lady." — Meg March

AMY MARCH QUOTES

"I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now." — Amy March

"Selfish people do like to talk about themselves." — Amy March

"Well, Rome took all the vanity out of me. And Paris made me realize I'd never be a genius, so I'm giving up all my foolish artistic hopes." — Amy March

“Talent isn’t genius, and no amount of energy can make it so. I want to be great or nothing.” — Amy March

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Amy March's quote: “I’m just a woman. And as a woman, there’s no way for me to make my own money…So don’t sit there and tell me that marriage isn’t an economic proposition because it is.”  | Image: AmoDays

Amy March's quote: “I’m just a woman. And as a woman, there’s no way for me to make my own money…So don’t sit there and tell me that marriage isn’t an economic proposition because it is.” | Image: AmoDays

“No, I’d be respected if I couldn’t be loved.” — Amy March

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” — Amy March

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"I'm a failure. Jo is in New York being a writer, and I am a failure." — Amy March

"I'm sorry Jo... It's just that the only thing you care about is your writing. And it's not as if I could've hurt you by ruining one of your dresses. And I really did want to hurt you. I am the most sorry for it now. I am so sorry." — Amy March

“I believe we have some power over who we love. It isn’t something that just happens to a person.” — Amy March

Amy March’s quote: “Talent isn’t genius, and no amount of energy can make it so. I want to be great or nothing.”  | Image: AmoDays

Amy March’s quote: “Talent isn’t genius, and no amount of energy can make it so. I want to be great or nothing.” | Image: AmoDays

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"Well. I'm not a poet; I'm just a woman. And as a woman, I have no way to make money, not enough to earn a living and support my family. Even if I had my own money, which I don't, it would belong to my husband the minute we were married. If we had children, they would belong to him, not me. They would be his property. So don't sit there and tell me that marriage isn't an economic proposition because it is. It may not be for you, but it most certainly is for me." — Amy March

“I have been second to Jo my whole life in everything, and I will not be the person you settle for just because you cannot have her.” — Amy March

“Why be ashamed of what you want?” — Amy March

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“With all these good things to enjoy, you can find nothing to do but dawdle.” — Amy March

"I know. You brought my sister back from the dance - I would have never sprained MY ankle. I have lovely small feet. Best in my family." — Amy March

Amy March’s quote: “I believe we have some power over who we love. It isn’t something that just happens to a person.”  | Image: AmoDays

Amy March’s quote: “I believe we have some power over who we love. It isn’t something that just happens to a person.” | Image: AmoDays

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JO MARCH QUOTES

"I can't get over my disappointment in being a girl." — Jo March

"I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen." — Jo March

"I can't afford to starve on praise." — Jo March

"You'll find some lovely accomplished girl who will adore you and make a fine mistress for your fine house. I wouldn't. I'm homely and awkward and odd, and you'd be ashamed of me, and we would quarrel -- we can't help it even now! I'd hate elegant society, and you'd hate my scribbling, and we would be unhappy and wish we hadn't done it, and everything would be horrid." — Jo March

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“I care more to be loved. I want to be loved.” — Jo March

Jo March’s quote: “Well, God hasn’t met my will yet. What Jo wills be done.” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “Well, God hasn’t met my will yet. What Jo wills be done.” | Image: AmoDays

"I like good, strong words that mean something." — Jo March

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"Never till I'm stiff and old and have to use a crutch. Don't try to make me grow up before my time, Meg. It's hard enough to have you change all of a sudden. Let me be a little girl as long as I can." — Jo March

"What is wrong with me? I've made so many resolutions and written sad notes, and I've cried over my sins, but it just doesn't seem to help. When I get in a passion, I get so savage, I could hurt anyone, and I'd enjoy it." — Jo March

"And who made you the High Priest of what's good and bad, huh?" — Jo March

"My reaction indicates that you are a pompous blowhard!" — Jo March

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 Jo March’s quote: “I don’t believe I will ever marry. I’m happy as I am, and I love my liberty too well to be in any hurry to give it up.” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “I don’t believe I will ever marry. I’m happy as I am, and I love my liberty too well to be in any hurry to give it up.” | Image: AmoDays

"

Money is the end and aim of my mercenary existence."

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— Jo March

"Late at night, my mind would come alive with voices and stories and friends as dear to me as any in the real world. I gave myself up to it, longing for transformation." — Jo March

"I don't know that I could even be good like Marmie. I rather crave violence." — Jo March

“Well, God hasn’t met my will yet. What Jo wills be done.” — Jo March

“I just feel like women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. And I’m so sick of saying that love is all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it… But I’m so lonely.” — Jo March

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Jo March’s quote: “I suppose marriage has always been an economic proposition. Even in fiction.” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “I suppose marriage has always been an economic proposition. Even in fiction.” | Image: AmoDays

“I don’t like to doze by the fire. I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.” — Jo March

"So the only way to be an unmarried woman is to be rich." — Jo March

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“If I’m going to sell my heroine into marriage for money, I might as well get some of it.” — Jo March

“I suppose marriage has always been an economic proposition. Even in fiction.” — Jo March

“Writing doesn’t confer importance; it reflects it.” — Jo March

Jo March’s quote: “I don’t like to doze by the fire. I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “I don’t like to doze by the fire. I like adventures, and I’m going to find some.” | Image: AmoDays

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"Well, my sister, Amy, is in Paris, and until she marries someone obscenely wealthy, it's up to me to keep the family afloat. Goodbye." — Jo March

"No one will forget Jo March." — Jo March

"I’ll try and be what he loves to call me, 'a little woman,' and not be rough and wild; but do my duty here instead of wanting to be somewhere else." — Jo March

“I don’t believe I will ever marry. I’m happy as I am, and I love my liberty too well to be in any hurry to give it up.” — Jo March

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Jo March’s quote: “I’m so sick of saying that love is all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it… But I’m so lonely!” | Image: AmoDays

Jo March’s quote: “I’m so sick of saying that love is all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it… But I’m so lonely!” | Image: AmoDays

While there have been many adaptations of this book, the most recent, Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation, had many raving about its ability to provide the characters with more complexity. The movie was nominated 230 times and received one Oscar. With a cast consisting of Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, and Meryl Streep, this win is not surprising.

While we have come a long way regarding women's empowerment, many agree that there is still work to be done. If you want to learn more about empowering yourself as a woman, read these quotes.

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