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'Little Women' Quotes

Louisa May Alcott's Famous Novel

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Study Guide Little Women is a popular novel by Louisa May Alcott. Based on her own experiences growing up with sisters, the novel continues to be one of Alcott's best known works. Here are a few quotes from the novel.
  • "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 1

  • "Don't laugh at me, Jo! I didn't mean anyone should know until the time came, and I gave all my money to get it, and I'm truly trying not to be selfish any more."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 2

  • "During the fifteen minutes that followed, the proud and sensitive girl suffered a shame and pain which she never forgot. To others it might seem a ludicrous or trivial affair, but to her it was a hard experience, for during the twelve years of her life she had been governed by love alone..."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 7

  • "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."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

  • "It's my dreadful temper! I try to cure it; I think I have, and then it breaks out worse than ever. Oh, Mother, what shall I do? What shall I do?"
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 8

  • "I am angry nearly every day of my life."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

  • "'I'm not Meg tonight, I'm 'a doll' who does all sorts of crazy things. Tomorrow I shall put away my 'fuss and feathers' and be desperately good again.'"
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 9

  • "You may try your experiment for a week and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work and no play..."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 11

  • "Money is a needful and precious thing,--and, when well used, a noble thing,--but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

  • "I'd have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and I'd write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as famous as Laurie's music. I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle-something heroic, or wonderful-that won't be forgotten after I'm dead. I don't know what, but I'm on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

  • "If we are all alive ten years hence, let's meet, and see how many of us have got our wishes, or how much nearer we are then than now..."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 13

  • "How still the room was as they listened breathlessly, how strangely the day darkened outside, and how suddenly the whole world seemed to change, as the girls gathered about their mother, feeling as if all the happiness and support of the lives was about to be taken from them."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 15

  • "The little girl was very sincere in all this, for being left alone outside the safe home nest, she felt the need of some kind hand to hold by so sorely that she instinctively turned to the strong and tender Friend, whose fatherly love most closely surrounds his little children."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 19

  • "Indeed, sir, I cannot tell. Mother forbade it. Laurie has confessed, asked pardon, and been punished quiet enough. We don't keep silence to shield him, but someone else, and it will make more trouble if you interfere."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 21

  • "Of course there was a general stampede, and for several minutes everybody seemed to lose their wits, for the strangest things were done, and no one said a word. Mr. March became invisible in the embrace of four pairs of loving arms."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 22

  • "The best of us have a spice of perversity in us, especially when we are young and in love."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 23

  • "When the first soreness was over, she could laugh at her poor little book, yet believe in it still, and feel herself the wiser and stronger for the buffeting she had received."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 27

  • "I've loved you ever since I've known you, Jo, couldn't help it, you've been so good to me. I've tried to show it, but you wouldn't let me; no I'm going to make you hear, and give me an answer, for I can't go on so any longer."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 35

  • "For a minute her eyes were too dim for seeing, and, when they cleared, Beth was looking up at her so tenderly that there was hardly any need for her to say, 'Jo, dear, I'm glad you know it. I've tried to tell you, but I couldn't.'"
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 36

  • "You have grown abominably lazy, and you like gossip, and waste time on frivolous things, you are contented to be petted and admired by silly people, instead of being loved and respected by wise ones."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 39

  • "When morning came, for the first time in many months the fire was out, Jo's place was empty and the room was very still. But a bird sang blithely on a budding bough, close by, the snowdrops blossomed freshly at the window, and the spring sunshine streamed in like a benediction over the placid face upon the pillow--a face so full of painless peace that those who loved it best smiled though their tears, and thanked God that Beth was well at last."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 40

  • "An old maid, that's what I'm to be. A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps..."
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 43

  • "Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility--'Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!'"
    -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Ch. 47

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