12 Inspiring Life Lessons We Learned From Little Women

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Your childhood favorite holds up.

Every woman was once a young girl voraciously rereading the pages of Lousia May Alcott's Little Women–or, for the millennials out there, rewinding the 1994 Little Women VHS to watch just one more time.

The wise words of young Amy, rebellious Jo, and Marmee (among other characters) were inspirational to multiple generations of women–be honest, didn't Jo make you want to be a writer when you grew up? The women in this story were examples of the proud, strong, vulnerable, stubborn women we could all grow into.

The Little Women were the ultimate feminists–enjoying all the pleasures of life and never apologizing for their femininity (or their tomboyishness, as it were). Looking back, the life lessons from Little Women that inspired you then still hold up today.

Here, the 12 most enduring lines bring you back to the early '90s and remind you of the woman you wanted to be.


"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."

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"You must write from life, from the depths of your soul!"


"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."


"I think we are all hopelessly flawed."


"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely."


"I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country."


"You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone."


"You don't need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he is the right one."


"Feminine weaknesses and fainting spells are the direct result of our confining young girls to the house, bent over their needlework, and restrictive corsets."


Oh, Jo. Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts; how can you expect to lead an ordinary life? You're ready to go out and - and find a good use for your talent. Tho' I don't know what I shall do without my Jo. Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it."


"We all grow up one day, Meg. We might as well know what we want."


"Let us be elegant or die!"

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