I reread Little Women and, although the first chapters in I found it a bit cheesy, I really did enjoy reading it. It reminded me of the values still present in America nowadays, despite the growing materialism, which are what I think make America great. It also reminded me of what is really important in life. These things are family, sisterhood (and brotherhood), cultivating virtue (over talent, beauty, wealth), the joy of poverty and sharing with others, conversation, hard work, play, waiting, sacrifices, music, literature...
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"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."
"To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes becasue love is wanting. Money is a needful and preicous thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is ithe first or only prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace."
"I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work and no play."
"Young ladies in America love independence as much as their ancestors did, and are admired and respected for supporting themselves."
"Then it was that Margaret, sitting alone with tears dropping often on her work, felt how rich she had been in things more precious than any luxuries money could buy - in love, protection, peace, and health, the real blessings of life."
"...and make home happy by that exercise of those simple virtues which all may possess, and which all should love and value more than talent, wealth, or beauty."
"I shall be infinitely prouder of a lovable daughter with a talent for making life beautiful to herself and others."