Louisa May Alcott’s classic American novel Little Women has been adapted to the screen many times since its publication in 1868. Back then, movies and Tv shows didn’t exist, but little girls who read the book and related to them did their best to bring them to life. They acted scenes, recited quotes, and fought about which sister was more like them, just like we do today.
In 2019, Director Greta Gerwig released one of the best Little Women adaptations ever. She gave the March sisters a new life and introduced them to a new generation. Now Little Women movie quotes can be found everywhere, printed on t-shirts and tote bags, written on girls’ bios on social media, and shared on their profiles. Gerwig took the classic words of Louisa May Alcott and made them relatable to the 21st-century girl. Her understanding of girlhood and the challenges and changes girls face as they grow up made Little Women the pillar it is.
Little Women Movie Quotes
We have too many phenomenal Little Women movie quotes to share them all. However, we tried to bring you the best and most impactful quotes said throughout the movie. Some Little Women movie quotes are said by the March sisters, and others by other characters around them. All these Little Women movie quotes will forever be ingrained in our brains because they are brilliant.
“The world is hard on ambitious girls” – Amy March
This Little Women movie quote by Amy March describes the journey of almost every woman in Little Women. For Amy, she always knew what she wanted: to be an artist. She even always knew who she wanted: Laurie. Despite being portrayed as shallow and in love with her vanity as a child, Amy grew up to be a strong woman who worked for what she wanted.
She understood the world, how it works, and what it takes to navigate it as a woman. She knew how to impress Aunt March and the patient for it. Unlike Jo, Amy knew why she wanted to go to Paris. She knew that her family would suffer if she didn’t marry rich. Every woman in Little Women took the hardships of life and navigated them in their way.
“Just because my dreams are different than yours, it doesn’t mean they’re unimportant” – Meg March
When Meg is about to get married to a poor scholar, Jo tries to convince her to run away together. For Jo, at this age, love and marriage seemed like a hurdle to a good life. She felt like her sister had the potential that she would be wasting by getting married. However, Meg had a different dream than Jo. Love mattered to her, and for her marrying John and having a family was her dream.
This Little Women movie quote teaches girls that all dreams matter. There is no one way to live life. Whether one wants to marry and have a family or build a career or be famous, all dreams are valid as long as they are one’s dream. Meg and Jo might have had different dreams, but they knew how to follow their hearts.
“I can’t afford to starve on praise” – Jo March
When Jo shows her short stories to Friedrich, he does not like them. He says they are not good, and Jo gets upset. She argues that her stories sell, that people love them, and always call her talented. Friedrich agrees that she’s talented, so he doesn’t like these stories and thinks she can do better.
Jo answers that she can’t be a starving artist. This concept that artists should only create beautiful things, whether they bring money or not, applies only to rich artists. Artists whose is their source of income, like Jo, cannot afford this privilege. With one Little Women movie quote, Jo and Gerwig told the audience that praise and exposure don’t pay the bills.
“Girls have to go out into the world and make up their own minds about things” – Marmee March
Marmee knew how to raise powerful independent, and caring girls. Even though they were never rich and their father was always away fighting in the civil war, the March sisters were raised to stand independently and make their way in life. These lessons from Marmee are seen in all the sisters throughout their lives.
Jo movies to New York and follows her dream to become a writer, Amy goes to Paris like she always said she would and trains to become a painter, and Meg marries someone she loves and, despite the hardships, build a loving family for herself. Beth is the only sister that doesn’t get a future, and that’s only because of her sickness. Beth, however, is the kindest soul of all her sisters. She is the first to take care of others and look out for them, which is true power.
“I believe we have some power over who we love. It isn’t something that just happens to a person.” – Amy March
When Laurie and Amy meet in Paris, he confronts her about wanting to marry Fred Vaughn just because he is rich and not because she loves him. Amy doesn’t deny this but doesn’t agree with it. In this Little Women movie quote, she tells Laurie that you can choose who you love and learn to love someone. You don’t just have to fall blindly into love.
Marriage for Amy is not only about love. She knows she is responsible for providing for her family and that marrying rich is the only way to do it. Women then could not have their own money, and Amy knew her chances. For Laurie, a white young rich man, it feels like Amy is giving up and selling her freedom, but that comes from his privilege.
“You will care for somebody, and you’ll love him tremendously and live and die for him. I know you will. It’s your way, and you will and… I’ll watch” – Laurie Laurence
The entire scene when Laurie proposes to Jo after Meg’s wedding consists of Little Women movie quote that will forever be in our heads. Laurie doesn’t even get to say the word “marriage” before Jo stops him. She argues that they are not suitable for each other, are too different, and will resent each other if they get married.
Laurie lets her list why she thinks they can’t be together, and by the end of it, when she says that she doesn’t think she’ll ever marry, Laurie stops her with these words. He believes that Jo will fall in love and he will forever be in love with her. Neither of those things happens in the end. Jo never marries, and Laurie moves on from his love for her and marries Amy.
“Life is too short to be angry at one’s sisters” – Jo March
When Amy comes back from Paris married to Laurie, she worries about Jo’s reaction. Even though Jo refused Laurie years ago and, as far as Amy knows, does not love him that way, Amy, she doesn’t want to be in a fight with her sister. Good thing Jo knows what’s essential.
Jo wanted to be loved, and Laurie was the way to that for her because she was sure of his feelings. However, as Marmee said, it is not the same as loving. Jo sees Amy for the first time after Beth’s death, and she knows she can’t be angry at her for taking what she wants. Sisterhood is the most important relationship in the movie, and this Little Women movie quote ensures the audience understands that.
“Women have minds and souls as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition and talent as well as just beauty. And I’m sick of people saying that love is all a woman is fit for.” – Jo March
Jo has a cathartic conversation with her mother about ambition and love. She talks about how society only looks at women as an object of love or as a wife, even though these notions are clear now for the modern audience. For Jo’s time, fighting to be seen as an ambitious woman was hard.
Jo is a talented writer and a great sister and daughter, but even then, love and marriage is still a hurdle in her life. As a single woman, it’s hard to make money or support your family and be truly independent without a man. Jo’s frustration is for herself, her sisters, and her community. It’s a sentiment that every woman can feel in every time and space. That is why this Little Women movie quote is probably the most popular among fans.
“But I’m so lonely” – Jo March
The sentiment and power of the previous Little Women movie quote don’t hit until this part arrives. Jo expresses how lonely she feels. Despite being strong and wanting independence and freedom, she’s still a human who needs to feel a connection to someone.
Wanting and needing love does not weaken a woman or contradict her right to freedom. A woman cannot truly love another person without first loving herself and feeling content with who she is. For Jo, chasing her dreams was all she wanted until she grew up and discovered that she was allowed to want more than one thing at a time, something Amy knew from the beginning. Her loneliness made her reconsider Laurie’s feelings, but it was too late. Life doesn’t wait around for people, but also it doesn’t end when you lose something. You can just seek another.
“Make it short and spicy. And if the main character is a girl, make sure she’s married by the end. Or dead.” – Mr Dashwood
In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Jo gets married by the end of the book. Louisa never wanted to make Jo marry. Throughout the whole book, Jo repeatedly says that she never plans to marry. And even when she feels lonely for a bit, she finds other ways to occupy herself and find enjoyment in life. However, Alcott’s publisher refused to publish Little Women with an unmarried heroin. The Little Women movie quote was used to reflect the ideals of the time.
Greta wanted to showcase this and make it right by Lousia’s wishes. In the movie’s events, Jo is the one writing Little Women. We see a scene where Jo runs to the station after Friedrich meaning to confess her feelings to him. This scene, however, does not take place in the movie’s events but in Jo’s book. Jo writes her characters in her book just like Lousia wrote Jo, married by the end. However, Jo, the one who is the writer, becomes a successful writer and never goes back on her promise to Laurie never to marry.
Greta Gerwig rephrased and reused Louisa May Alcott’s quotes in such a beautiful and meaningful way that these words were given a new life through her movie. Every girl who watched Little Women can find a quote that reflects her thoughts and feelings because these emotions are universal. Such a genius movie and story should not be experienced once because every time you go back and watch Little Women, you find movie quotes that resonate more profoundly within your heart.