Almost everyone knows that Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is based on her own early life. Louisa’s father, Bronson Alcott, was a freethinking reformer, who worked closely with male authors like Thoreau, Hawthorne, and Emerson. Louisa, however, did the household chores like sewing, cooking doing laundry etc. with her other sisters. When she realized that she has a flair for writing, and could also earn some money through it, she went ahead and wrote Little Women.
This is a book enjoyed by readers of every age enjoy. I read the book for the first time when I was 14 years old. I read it again at 24, and it still had that effect on me, which I cannot quite explain (Yes, I call myself a writer!).
Though Louisa’s publisher wanted the book to be “girl’s book” (whatever that means!), this gem explores themes that are timeless. It talks about love, death, peace, war, clash of cultures, everything.
This is definitely a must read for everybody.
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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- I can actually see this as a Rachel Platten song
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
- Ah, I love this!
“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”
- But always hope
“Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.”
- That is the question
“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
- Don’t throw away all the love you have because you can’t have the one you want
“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 because you can’t have the one you want.”
- The hearts that beat so quietly
“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 the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight. Even the sad, sour sisters should be kindly dealt with, because they have missed the sweetest part of life, if for no other reason.”
- Sitting in corners till needed
“There are many Beths 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.”
- This woman is the God of one liners!
“Love is a great beautifier.”
“My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and may be many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.”
- Never get tired of trying
“Watch and pray, dear, never get tired of trying, and never think it is impossible to conquer your fault.”
- I will tattoo this on my face
“…for love casts out fear, and gratitude can conquer pride.”
- There is no reason to be mean
“Because they are mean is no reason why I should be. I hate such things, and though I think I’ve a right to be hurt, I don’t intend to show it. (Amy March)”
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- Such Coco Chanel vibe this one has!
“Let us be elegant or die!”
- OK then!
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”
- No one should have to grow up before their time
“Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…”
- I don’t want to be forgotten
“I want to do something splendid…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 someday.”
- If he is the right one
“You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one… if he’s the right one.”
- You have to be lovable to be loved
“Be worthy love, and love will come.”
- I make so many beginnings, there never will be an end
“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. (Jo March)”
- This one!
“Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”
- If someone calls you the gull, then you know what they mean
“You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.”
- The woman I would have them copy
“…the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.”
“Conceit spoils the finest genius.”
- Be comforted
“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”
- Be observant
“I don’t pretend to be wise, but I am observing, and I see a great deal more than you’d imagine. I’m interested in other people’s experiences and inconsistencies, and, though I can’t explain, I remember and use them for my own benefit.”
- Till that was finished she could find no peace
“Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.”
- We need this now more than ever
“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”
- I still choke when I read these lines
“I’m not like the rest of you; I never made any plans about what I’d do when I grew up; I never thought of being married, as you did. I couldn’t seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there. 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.”
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