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5 Little Women Quotes We Still Love Today

"Don't try to make me grow up before my time..."

There's a reason Little Women keeps getting remade—it's an amazing, heartwarming (and heartbreaking) story about love, sisterhood and growing up. And even though it takes place during the Civil War, the relationships and rivalries of the March sisters are timeless. If you haven't taken the time to re-read Little Women in a while, trust us—it's worth it.

There are dozens of quotable lines from Little Women, and we can only hope that we get to hear Meryl Streep say a few of them in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of the film. Until then, we're sharing with you these five unforgettable Little Women quotes. If we missed your favorite, share it with us in the comments below!   

Bonus: For a Limited Time, Download a Free Audio Excerpt From Little Women 

I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now, a little women quote
  • "I'd rather take coffee than compliments just now." —Little Women

Amy March has always been a bit controversial. The youngest of the March sisters, Amy is remembered as being the one who burns Jo's manuscript, gets to go to Europe with their rich aunt, and ends up with Laurie, who had previously been in love with Jo—i.e., she's the baby of the family, and she gets everything.

But though we'll never quite forgive her for burning Jo's manuscript, we have gotten over the fact that she wound up with Laurie (Jo never felt that way about him, no matter how much we wished she would). Plus, she's responsible for this perfect, fluster-inducing response when Laurie is first falling in love with her.

Related: 10 Inspiring Female Coming of Age Stories 

little women quote about jo and laurie
  • "Love Jo all your days if you choose, but don't let it spoil you, for it's wicked to throw away so many good gifts just because you can't have the one you want." —Little Women

Related: 13 Books for Fans of Little Women 

While Laurie was still pining for Jo, it was actually Amy who rebuked him for his pity-party. We have to hand it to her; this is pretty sage advice for a teenage girl to be giving. We'd all be better off to remember to be happy with the good fortunes we do have, instead of crying about the things we don't. 

let us be elegant, or die, a quote from little women
  • "...let us be elegant, or die." —Little Women

Somehow, being a teenage girl getting ready for a party elicits the same amount of drama in 1868 as it does today. Very early in Little Women, Jo and Meg are getting ready to go out, but it's not a simple process. 

Jo attempts to curl a few tendrils of Meg's hair, but too-hot tongs burn the hair off completely. (Thankfully, Amy saves the day with a styling suggestion that will look "like the last fashion.") After Meg puts on painful high-heeled slippers and Jo shoves in hairpins that seemed "stuck straight into her head," the girls are finally ready to head off to the party.

Related: 9 Books About the Powerful Bonds of Sisterhood 

love is a great beautifier, a little women quote
  • "Love is a great beautifier." —Little Women

As Meg March is getting ready to marry John Brooke, Alcott describes her as "prettier than ever, for love is a great beautifier." Still, Meg is a bit jealous of their neighbors, who were recently married and have a fine house and many gifts. 

Meg and John's marriage will be much more modest—but Meg knows how much work John is putting into their home, and she can't help but feel herself "the richest, happiest girl in Christendom."

i am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship, a little women quote
  • "I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship." —Little Women

Somehow, little Amy got all the best quotes in Little Women. She's especially witty when she's teasing Laurie, as she is here. In this scene, Jo has compared Laurie to a weathervane, and Amy to the wind. And while their relationship has been going very well so far, Amy's not too concerned about any hardships life may throw at them—she's sure they'll weather them together.

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott

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Featured photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

Published on 11 Dec 2019

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