15 Nov My favourite Little Women Quotes
Before I launched my new Little Women book pencils I first had to pick my favourite quotes from the novel to use on the pencils. There are five pencils in each set and each one needs a different quote on it. With a book like Little Women, the difficulty is picking ONLY five.
So in this list of my Favourite Little Women Quotes I have included the five quotes that I chose for the book pencils and then I have also included some quotes that nearly made the pencil set.
In fact if you want to see the process behind how I chose the quotes I did a whole video on it below
CHAPTER 1 – Playing Pilgrims
The opening lines of Louisa May Alcott’s novel start with these words.
“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
“I dont think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contently from her corner.
And so we are introduced to the March girls.
“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
This was the first quote that I chose to use for the pencil sets as it not only gives us an insight into the title of the novel but also into Jo herself. And how she struggles with what she considers her duty and her dreams.
Chapter 4 – Burdens
“I like good strong words that mean something” – Jo March. Jo says this in reply to Meg when she berates her for her use of slang! Slang in Little Women being words like rascals, which is so quaint now. But shows Jo’s rebellious streak in the context of the time.
“ I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen”, observed Jo mysteriously. For the pencil sets I ended the quote here, but in the novel Laurie replies to Jo’s comment with “I’ve got the key to mine, but I’m not allowed to try it. Hang college!”
Later on, towards the end of the novel, they again make reference to castles in the air. I love these lines as they so beautifully sum up the opposing problems of our heroine and her male contemporary. He is constrained not by opportunity or money but by duty, while Jo is constrained by her gender and her poverty.
“I keep turning over new leaves and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks, and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end” – Laurie says this after he has had a fight with his grandfather. While I liked the turn of phrase it didn’t quite make it into the top 5 quotes.
“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now” – Amy March. Again while I liked the cleverness of this phrase and it does have some importance to the story line I didn’t feel like it was important enough to include in my top 5. Amy says this to Laurie, it is part of a conversation where you can see the start of their romance. Laurie is seeing Amy as a young woman for the first time and not just ‘little Amy’
“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under sober gowns” – Mrs March to her daughters.
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship” – Amy March, now married to Laurie speaks these lines in reply to questions on their future together. You get the sense that he lends her bravery, or perhaps more correctly her confidence in their love makes her brave as to what the future will hold for them.
The final honorary mention I wanted to write about was a scene between Jo and the Professor towards the very end of the novel. It takes place just after Jo says yes to his marriage proposal. It was just too long to include in the pencil sets but I had to include it here.
Little they cared what anybody thought, for they were enjoying the happy hour that seldom comes but once in any life, the magical moment which bestows youth on the old, beauty on the plain, wealth on the poor, and gives human hearts a foretaste of heaven
I mean how incredibly beautiful are these words, gives human hearts a foretaste of heaven . This is the same scene where the professor protests that he has nothing to give Jo but ‘these empty hands’ and she replies that they are not empty now.
So there you have it, my favourite Little Women quotes. Five of which were included in my Little Women pencil sets. Which you can buy below