Little Women

Little Women

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Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. March, sister of Jo, Meg, and Beth, and (eventually) Laurie’s wife. Amy is a “snow maiden” – pale, blonde, and blue-eyed – and she seems to instinctively understand social graces in a way that sets her apart from her sisters. She harbors artistic ambitions, which she eventually drops in lieu of getting married and becoming a society lady. Amy is twelve when the story begins.

Amy Curtis March Quotes in Little Women

The Little Women quotes below are all either spoken by Amy Curtis March or refer to Amy Curtis March . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of Little Women published in 2012.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

“Our burdens are here, our road is before us…Now, my little pilgrims, suppose you begin again, not in play, but in earnest, and see how far on you can get before Father comes home.”

Related Characters: Margaret "Marmee" March (speaker), Josephine "Jo" March , Margaret "Meg" March, Elizabeth "Beth" March, Amy Curtis March , Robert March
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

This quote sets the moral tone of the book in that it establishes that the primary conflicts of the novel will be internal: the girls battling their own worst instincts to try to live good and righteous lives. Here, Mrs. March references The Pilgrim's Progress, an allegorical novel about Christian life that the girls read and act out as children. Mrs. March suggests that this novel could represent not just a theatrical opportunity, but a road map for their spiritual lives. Indeed, Little Women itself is mapped onto The Pilgrim's Progress, with its plot arc and moral center heavily invested in constant self improvement, overcoming personal obstacles, and Christian values. 

This quote comes directly after the opening struggle of the book, in which the March girls must decide whether to buy themselves Christmas presents, since they have chosen to forego family presents this year. The March girls first fantasize about buying things they really want, but with each other's help, they conclude that the best way to spend the money would be to buy their mother presents. In a sense, Little Women is an accumulation of choices like this one. This quote of Mrs. March's indicates that this struggle is emblematic of the struggles of the entire book.

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Part 1, Chapter 8 Quotes

“I burned it up.”
“What! My little book I was so fond of, and worked over, and meant to finish before Father got home? Have you really burned it?” said Jo, turning very pale, while her eyes kindled and her hands clutched Amy nervously.

Related Characters: Josephine "Jo" March (speaker), Amy Curtis March (speaker)
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

Each of the March girls have one particular character flaw with which they struggle throughout the book. For Jo, this flaw is her temper, which can be immoderate and destructive. In this quote, Jo realizes that Amy, in an act of revenge for an earlier unkindness of Jo's, has burned a book that Jo has been writing. This chapter shows the ways in which unkindnesses escalate if we don't check our impulses and tempers. Jo and Amy are caught in a cyclical spat, and each sister's next act of revenge is worse than the last until it leads to Amy being put in mortal danger. This chapter is particularly important because it is such a difficult challenge for Jo to choose love and forgiveness in the face of her strong temper (and love for her own creative work). Her failure to control her temper results in near-catastrophe, and it is a difficult and lasting lesson for Jo to learn. 

Part 2, Chapter 26 Quotes

“My lady,” as [Amy’s] friends called her, sincerely desired to be a genuine lady, and was so at heart, but had yet to learn that money cannot buy refinement of nature, that rank does not always confer nobility, and that true breeding makes itself felt in spite of external drawbacks.

Related Characters: Amy Curtis March
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:

Throughout the book, Amy's main vices are conceitedness and pretension. Amy always wants to be seen as wealthier and more cultured and worldly than she actually is. This manifests from the purely shallow (Amy using a clothespin to make her nose look more "Grecian") to the more earnest (Amy trying to cultivate friendships with aristocratic women, the primary conflict of this chapter). In this passage, Amy is hoping to throw a lunch party for her well-bred new friends, and she wants to serve delicacies that are beyond her means. The narrator tells us that Amy does not yet understand that appearing refined is different from having truly good breeding, which, we can presume, has to do more with kindness, humility, and self-esteem than with knowing the right references or having the right clothes (although it does put an uncomfortable emphasis on the "nobility" of one's heritage). This quote suggests that Amy already has all the qualities of true refinement, but she is too caught up on the external markers of refinement to be content with herself. 

Part 2, Chapter 29 Quotes

“Women should learn to be agreeable, particularly poor ones, for they have no other way of repaying the kindnesses they receive. If you’d remember that, and practice it, you’d be better liked than I am, because there is more of you.”

Related Characters: Amy Curtis March (speaker), Josephine "Jo" March
Page Number: 304
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage comes after Jo and Amy pay a series of calls to acquaintances, and Jo embarrasses Amy by, among other behaviors, snubbing a man she finds distasteful. Jo argues that by snubbing him she might cause him to examine his behavior, but Amy, who is much more enamored with social graces, disagrees.

The quote here is Amy explaining to Jo that women, particularly poor ones, must be agreeable because it's the only way to repay kindness. This passage shows how deeply patriarchal Victorian society was, as Amy sees herself as having little value to acquaintances besides her ability to charm them. Jo, on the other hand, who refuses to be deferential and who is financially supporting herself, has a much more radical attitude. While Amy does not believe that it is her place as a poor woman to tell men that she disapproves of them, Jo thinks of letting her opinion be known as a way to influence people towards better behavior, and she thinks it inauthentic to be agreeable to someone just because he is a man and has higher social status. While Jo clearly comes out of this seeming more moral, the seriousness with which she takes Amy's argument shows how deeply ingrained these values were.

Part 2, Chapter 47 Quotes

Touched to the heart, Mrs. March could only stretch out her arms, as if to gather children and grandchildren to herself, and say, with face and voice full of motherly love, gratitude, and humility…
“Oh, my girls, however long you may live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this!”

Related Characters: Margaret "Marmee" March (speaker), Josephine "Jo" March , Margaret "Meg" March, Amy Curtis March
Page Number: 499
Explanation and Analysis:

In this closing passage to the novel, the March women have successfully devoted themselves to Christian values and hard work, and have thus established the full and happy lives that Mrs. March always imagined for them. Throughout the book, each of the women has struggled to overcome their personal flaws, maintain moral values, and support one another as they grew up. Now, this has all come to fruition with each of the girls having made happy and thriving families of their own. It's significant that each of the women has learned, with much difficulty, to never prioritize money in their lives. While none of them but Amy has much money, their joy is something that can't be bought, and Mrs. March couldn't "wish [them] a greater happiness than this." Alcott is driving home the point here that love is the greatest gift of all, and we should never let superficial concerns cloud our ability to give and receive genuine love, whether that is familial or romantic. This passage also emphasizes the importance of family. Despite everything that has happened to the Marches, their family is still the central force in their lives and it brings them great joy. 

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Amy Curtis March Character Timeline in Little Women

The timeline below shows where the character Amy Curtis March appears in Little Women. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1: Playing Pilgrims
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...before Christmas in the year 1860. The four March girls – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy - are sitting in their sparsely furnished living room. The March family is poor, and... (full context)
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...as sour Aunt March’s companion, thirteen-year-old Beth does a good deal of housework, and twelve-year-old Amy goes to school with tiresome girls who tease her for being poor. (full context)
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While they talk, Amy scolds Jo for using slang, citing that it’s boyish behavior. Jo scoffs at Amy, putting... (full context)
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...shy, and rosy – her serene nature has earned her the nickname “Little Miss Tranquility.” Amy is “a regular snow maiden,” given her curly blonde hair, pale skin, and blue eyes. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: A Merry Christmas
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...every morning, and they spend the next half hour reading. Inspired by what she read, Amy sneaks out and exchanges the small, cheap bottle of cologne she bought for Mrs. March... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: Burdens
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Amy, on the other hand, feels her greatest burden is her nose, which she believes does... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful
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Meg and Amy soon join Jo in feeling welcome at Mr. Laurence’s house. The girls are initially worried... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7: Amy’s Valley of Humiliation
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Amy borrows money from Meg in order to buy some pickled limes. Amy explains that limes... (full context)
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Amy is having a delightful day until Jenny raises her hand and tells their teacher, Mr.... (full context)
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At recess, Amy runs home and tells her family what happened. Her family is incensed. Mrs. March agrees... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 8: Jo Meets Apollyon
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Amy spies Jo and Meg getting ready to leave the house one Saturday afternoon, and demands... (full context)
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The play is delightful, but Jo can’t banish her guilt at losing her temper with Amy. Jo and Meg return home and everything seems normal. The next day, however, Jo discovers... (full context)
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Amy at first begs for Jo’s forgiveness, but soon grows to resent Jo’s anger. The following... (full context)
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Jo skates away from Amy. Amy skates out over the middle of the river and falls through the thin ice.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 11: Experiments
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...keeps forgetting not to work (and fights with her beloved dolls when she doesn’t), and Amy is overcome with ennui. The girls are secretly glad when the week is almost over. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 13: Castles in the Air
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...in a forest glade. Meg is sewing, Jo is knitting, Beth is sorting pinecones, and Amy is sketching ferns. Laurie asks if he can join them, and Meg agrees on the... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 15: A Telegram
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November. Meg is complaining about how dull and full of drudgery her life is. Amy posits that she and Jo will someday make a fortune for the Marches through their... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 17: Little Faithful
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...in their efforts. Jo catches a cold and thereby gets a holiday from Aunt March, Amy drops her housework in order to play with clay, and Meg forgets her sewing in... (full context)
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...week. Hannah is alerted to Beth’s illness, Jo resolves to be Beth’s primary nurse, and Amy (after some coaxing from Laurie, who promises to visit her every day) is made to... (full context)
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...to wait and ask Mr. Laurence for his opinion. Jo and Laurie take a reluctant Amy to Aunt March’s house. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 19: Amy’s Will
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Meanwhile, Amy is holed up at Aunt March’s and having a rough time. Amy has taken Jo’s... (full context)
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While Aunt March takes her nap, Esther allows Amy to look through the old woman’s troves of jewelry. As Amy looks through a jewelry... (full context)
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Esther goes on to tell Amy that she would find great comfort in taking up the Catholic practice of spending a... (full context)
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...that Aunt March plans to give her jewelry to the March girls after she dies. Amy is delighted to learn that Aunt March also has plans to give her a turquoise... (full context)
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Amy works to be more pious and well behaved, and Aunt March is pleased. Amy prays... (full context)
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Amy asks Esther and Laurie to sign the will as witnesses. Laurie reads the document and... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 20: Confidential
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Laurie goes to Aunt March’s house to tell Amy the good news. Mrs. March bursts in and Amy is so overjoyed that her cries... (full context)
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Mrs. March notices that Amy is wearing a turquoise ring, and Amy explains that Aunt March gave it to her.... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 22: Pleasant Meadows
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...are calloused from work. He’s also pleased to see that Jo is less tomboyish, that Amy is less selfish, and that Beth’s health is much improved. Jo asks Beth what she’s... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 23: Aunt March Settles the Question
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...Mr. and Mrs. March are “quietly reliving” the early days of their love through Meg, Amy draws the new couple, and Beth sits chatting with Mr. Laurence. Meanwhile, Jo and Laurie... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 24: Gossip
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...Meg can’t help but compare her own life with the wealthy one Sallie now leads. Amy has become Aunt March’s confidante, leaving Jo free to write for the newspaper and to... (full context)
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Laurie mentions that a friend from his at college is quite stricken with Amy, and Jo replies that she hopes there won’t be any more weddings in the family... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 26: Artistic Attempts
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Amy is becoming more serious in her undertaking to become a real artist. Aunt March has... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Amy also longs to become “an attractive and accomplished woman” who will one day be able... (full context)
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With this in mind, Amy asks Mrs. March if she might have the girls from her drawing class over for... (full context)
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Mrs. March suggests a simple lunch, but Amy insists on delicacies: cold chicken and tongue, French chocolate, and ice cream. With the help... (full context)
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It’s drizzling on Monday morning, the day appointed for the lunch. Amy has set a rain date for the following day, and by noon it’s clear no... (full context)
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Amy prepares for the luncheon once again the following day. It’s sunny out, so she’s sure... (full context)
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She has a pleasant time with her sole guest. After the girl leaves, Amy and the rest of the Marches sit down to their second night of salad and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 29: Calls
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Amy insists that Jo should go with her on a series of house calls one day.... (full context)
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Before they arrive at the Chesters’ house, Amy instructs Jo to be “calm, cool, quiet,” behaviors that are “safe and ladylike.” Jo agrees... (full context)
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At the Chesters’, Jo horrifies Amy by sitting in icy silence as their hosts try to make conversation with her. One... (full context)
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Before they reach the Lambs’ house, Amy instructs Jo to be more sociable. “Gossip as other girls do,” she says. Jo agrees... (full context)
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Amy gives up on Jo at the next house, bidding her to act however she likes.... (full context)
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After they depart, Amy asks Jo why she paid no attention to Mr. Tudor, and yet was so kind... (full context)
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...men like Mr. Tudor, given that her disdain might influence him to reform his behavior. Amy argues that poor women “should learn to be agreeable…for they have no other way of... (full context)
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...makes conversation with the girls about an upcoming fair to be held by the Chesters. Amy reveals that she’ll volunteer there, as a favor. Jo – riled up after her discussion... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 30: Consequences
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The day before the Chesters’ fair, as they set up the tables, Amy is snubbed by Mrs. Chester and her daughter May, because May is envious of Amy.... (full context)
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The day of the fair, Amy spies an entry in an old book that she had been illuminating: “Thou shalt love... (full context)
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One week later, Amy is rewarded for her selfless, ladylike behavior. Aunt Carrol sends word that she wishes to... (full context)
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Amy packs her things and leaves for Europe soon after. Before she leaves, Amy reminds Jo... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 31: Our Foreign Correspondent
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Amy writes from Europe. She tells of her adventures in London, where she runs into the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 37: New Impressions
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...Day, in Nice, France. While strolling up the Promenade des Anglais, Laurie unexpectedly runs into Amy, who’s driving a little carriage. She’s overjoyed to see him, and Laurie climbs into the... (full context)
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Amy primps for the ball. She wears her cousin’s old white silk dress and freshens it... (full context)
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Amy sweeps into the ball and greets Laurie, who has brought her flowers. The ball is... (full context)
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Laurie and Amy flirt – they dance together, and then Amy coquettishly pushes him away in lieu of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 39: Lazy Laurence
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Laurie remains in Nice for a month. He seems to have become quite lazy, and Amy grows disappointed in him. One day, she asks him to accompany her on a drive... (full context)
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Amy asks Laurie when he’s going back to Mr. Laurence – she’s asked him this before,... (full context)
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Laurie continues to lounge indolently, and Amy grows frustrated. She tells him that she and her cousin have taken to calling him... (full context)
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Amy feels bad for Laurie, but continues to scold him for being lazy. She tells him... (full context)
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The next day, Amy receives a note from Laurie, stating that he’s returning to London to be with Mr.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 41: Learning to Forget
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...and tells him that she decidedly “couldn’t and wouldn’t.” She encourages Laurie to write to Amy. After some hesitation, Laurie does so. (full context)
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Meanwhile, Amy has decided to turn down Fred Vaughn, as she “didn’t care to be a queen... (full context)
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A letter about Beth’s failing health is lost in the mail, and by the time Amy hears about her it’s far too late. The Marches tell her to stay in Europe,... (full context)
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Laurie finds Amy sitting by the shore of the lake, and the minute he sees her he knows... (full context)
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Aunt Carrol realizes that Amy had been pining for Laurie, and she invites him to stay with them. One day,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 42: All Alone
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Amy writes to tell her family about her betrothal to Laurie. Jo is grave when she... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 43: Surprises
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Jo awakens soon after to find Laurie standing before her. Laurie reveals that he and Amy eloped while they were in Europe. Laurie tells Jo that he still loves her, but... (full context)
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The whole family, accompanied by Mr. Laurence, enters the parlor. Amy’s European airs are noted by the Marches, and Jo notes that she and Laurie look... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 44: My Lord and Lady
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Laurie and Amy have a private conversation. Laurie exclaims that Professor Bhaer is going to marry Jo, and... (full context)