Little Women: The March Sisters

Book cover of my Bantam Classics’ Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I must admit: it is my first time finishing a classic and to be honest, I think it would remain a frail hope if not for the lockdown due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, I can justify that the 541-page book is indeed a good read. In fact, it is all together a “good” book, that is, boosting with moral. From childhood to womanhood, I believe we can all relate to the curiosities and discoveries of these lovely sisters.

While reading the book, I’ve highlighted powerful thoughts that I’d like to ponder on further. Here, I present to you words that came from their own lips or descriptions from the author itself (Louisa May Alcott).

For how else can we get a better grasp of their characters than to present their own thoughts, right? 

Please allow me to introduce to you the March sisters, from the eldest to the youngest.

Meg March [1]
  • “Where’s the use of looking nice, when no one sees me but those cross midgets, and no one cares whether I’m pretty or not?” (p.36)
  • “I shall have to toil and moil all my days, with only little bits of fun now and then, and then get old and ugly and sour, because I’m poor and can’t enjoy my life as other girls do. It’s a shame!” (p.36)
  • “I’m too happy to care what anyone says or thinks, and I’m going to have my little wedding just as I like it.” (p.269)
  • They were very happy, even after they discovered that they couldn’t live on love alone. (p.292)
  • Meg learned that a woman’s happiest kingdom is home, her highest honor the art of ruling it not as a queen, but a wise wife and mother. (p.430)
Jo March [2]
  • “Why in the world should you spend your money, worry your family, and turn the house upside down for a parcel of girls who don’t care a sixpence for you?” (p.278)
  • After years of effort it was so pleasant to find that she had learned to do something, though it was only to write a sensation story. (p.288)
  • “But I think girls ought to show when they disapprove of young men, and how can they do it except by their manners?” (p.317)
  • Jo had learned that hearts, like flowers, cannot be rudely handled, but must open naturally. (p.353)
  • “I couldn’t fall in love with the dear old fellow merely out of gratitude, could I?” (p.355)
  • She saw that money conferred power: money and power, therefore, she resolved to have, not to be used for herself alone, but for those whom she loved more than self.
  • “I almost wish I hadn’t any conscience, it’s so inconvenient. If I didn’t care about doing right, and didn’t feel uncomfortable when doing wrong, I should get on capitally. I can’t help wishing sometimes, that Father and Mother hadn’t been so particular about such things.” (p.385)
  • “I don’t believe I shall ever marry. I’m happy as I am, and love my liberty too well to be in any hurry to give it up for any mortal man.” (p.394)
  • If difficulties were necessary to increase the splendor of the effort, what could be harder for a retless, ambitious girl than to give up her own hopes, plans, and desires, and cheerfuly live for others? (p.469)
  • “I’m glad Amy has learned to love him. But you are right in one hing: I am lonely, and perhaps if Teddy had tried again, I might have said ‘Yes,’ not because I love him any more, but because I care more to be loved than when he went away.” (p.472)
  • “I’m glad you are poor; I couldn’t bear a rich husband,” said Jo decidedly, adding, in a softer tone, “Don’t fear poverty. I’ve known it long enough to lose my dread and be happy working for those I love; and don’t call yourself old — forty is the prime of life. I couldn’t help loving you if you were seventy!” -Jo (p.517)
  • “I may be strong-minded, but no one can say I’m out of my sphere now, for woman’s special mission is supposed to be drying tears and bearing burdens. I’m to carry my share, Friedrich, and help to earn the home. Make up your mind to that, or I’ll never go.”
Beth March [3]
  • 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 ont he hearth stops chirping, and the sweet, sunshiny presence vanishes, leaving silence and shadow behind. (p.42)
  • “I gave up hoping then, but I didn’t like to own it. I tried to think it was a sick fancy, and would not let it trouble anyone. But when I saw you all so well and strong and full of happy plans, it was hard to feel that I could never be like you.” (p.402)
  • “I only mean to say that I have a feeling that it never was intended I should live long. 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 all did. I couldn’t seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there.” (p.404)
  • “…love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy.” (p.451)
Amy March [4]
  • “Women should learn to be agreeable, particularly poor ones, for they have no other way of repaying the kindness they receive.” (p.317)
  • “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.” (p.442)
  • “I never knew how much like heaven this world could be, when two people love and live for one another!” (p.472)
  • “If they love one another it doesn’t matter a particle how old they are nor how poor. Women never should marry for money.” (p.493)
  • “Ambitious girls have a hard time, Laurie, and often have to see youth, health, and precious opportunities go by, just for want of a little help at the right minute. People have been very kind to me; and whenever I see girls struggling along, as we used to do, I want to put out my hand and help them, as I was helped.” (p.495)

Through the development of these characters in the story, I can say that the author, Louisa May Alcott, knows them very well. It’s as if she was an unseen witness to their everyday lives, knowing not only their physical attributes but also the treasures of their hearts. 

In fact, so far as I have read novels and other stories, I can say that Little Women has the best fully-developed characters — reading the book feels like you’re growing up with them!

The photos I compiled were from the book’s latest movie adaptation (2019). Also, I’ve picked those shots which I think best describes each character as I’ve imagined them from the book.

[1] https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/emma-watson-little-women-movie-accent-harry-potter-bling-ring-activism-a9255401.html

https://www.whowhatwear.com/emma-watson-little-women-trailer

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/24/790812857/saoirse-ronan-playing-jo-march-in-little-women-was-a-confidence-boost

[3] https://evoke.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/DF-06213_rv2.jpg

https://img.cinemablend.com/filter:scale/quill/a/d/c/a/7/0/adca70e2baeb5296cbcc2aea1d5930cbef4d62a3.jpg?mw=600

[4] https://leahchampagne.tumblr.com/post/613848416729071616/cozflorence-pughs-outfits-on-the-little-women

27 thoughts on “Little Women: The March Sisters

  1. Thank you for sharing these quotes! I agree—they’re so wise, full of the author’s own life lessons, observations and experience. When I saw the new film a few months ago I came to realize that as a girl I had read an abridged edition, so I look forward to revisiting it in the original and bathing in the rich interactions of this loving family of sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! In a busy and worldly environment we’re living in today, the story of this family is very refreshing. You definitely should, it is worth re-reading 🙂 I hope I could watch the movie soon too. Thanks for dropping by my blog, Josna! I really appreciate it. ❤ And oh, you have a great blog too, it's full of contents worth reading. Plus, it's really nice seeing people like you following a challenge — consistency in doing something is a challenge and I can see you're thriving in it. Kuddos!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I hope I could watch the 2019 movie soon! I heard as well that it was a good adaptation. Yes, I highly recommend it! At first though, admittedly, I got so bored so I stopped reading it but when I went back during this lockdown, I found the story rather enthralling. 🙂 Do you like classics? If not, then what’s your favorite genre? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Woooaaahhh, Dostoevsky!!! ❤ I'm taking a Russian class this semester (though because of the pandemic it was cut short huhu) but before the lockdown, I reported about the two giants of Russian literature — Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. I've learned that they put Tolstoy on a pedestal but to be honest, after reading about these authors life, I loved Dostoevsky more. I should read Crime and Punishment soon, thanks for mentioning it. Coming from you, I'm confident it'd be a good read. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tony, I’m glad you like this novel too! That’s a good point… they were able to strive into achieving a fulfilled and happy life even though that era was a rough one. Well then, I hope most of us can do follow their modest ways as well, even if it’s simply being and acting human, since we’re experiencing rough times as well these days, no? 🙂

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  2. I read this over 50 years ago, in my teens. I think it speaks in the voice of its time, and allows us a window into a short moment of history. Justifiably considered to be a classic.
    Many thanks for following my blog, which is appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, it was a classic suited in that era of conservatism. But most of its teachings still apply to today’s ups and downs of growing up. You’re welcome, Pete. Your blog is a very refreshing one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! Every page is worth reading even if it’s a long story. That’s exactly what I did, thank you so much for noticing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a lovely book. I don’t think I enjoy it now quite as much as I did as a kid – the poor canary being left to die upsets me, and I think it was rather mean that Meg was made to feel so guilty just for borrowing a pretty dress from a friend – but it’s an all-time classic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! There are actually scenes and beliefs (specifically being overly-conservative in certain events) that I don’t agree with. But yes, it’s an altogether lovely book! 😀

      Like

  4. I love how you have highlighted quotes from the different sisters! Louisa May Alcott knew her characters so well, and made each of them shine in just simply their lines.
    I love your edition of this book, and I am eager to see the new film as soon as I can. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment! I really chose those quotes from each sister that I think best describe their personality. 😊While reading, I love highlighting ideas that interest me and you’re right, Ms. Alcott really knows her characters well. Reading the book really feels like you’re growing up up with them. ☺️

      Me too! Hope I could see the film soon. ❤️ Have a lovely day, Jaya!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You picked some wonderful quotes. I haven’t read this since I was a little girl, but I love the story. Now I’m thinking I should pick it up again.

    Like

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