a literary survey, part one

What do you think of Little Women?

a) I have always liked it
b) I have always disliked it
c) I used to like it, but now I don't
d) I used to dislike it, but now I do

Please to choose one and tell me why (or make up an "e" if none of the above fit).

I am trying to articulate something about this book and my experience of it, and your input on it would be helpful, I think.

More anon.


Veronica Mitchell said...

I have always loved Little Women. I have called my husband Bhaer for years, and credit my appreciation of beards to the book.

That said, even as a child I remember being puzzled by the portrayal of Jo's femininity. My mother is a cheerfully unselfconscious tomboy, and I always wanted to shake Jo a little and say, "Why would you want to BE a boy? Just be a girl and do the things that boys do." It never occurred to me that anyone seriously thought that wasn't an option.

As an adult, I think the only part of the book that rubbed me the wrong way was the portrayal of Laurie's marriage to Amy as a settling for second-best. Now it reads like self-flattery from a Jo-like author. I wonder what Laurie would say if he could speak for himself. Choosing the mate who is best-suited to you does NOT feel like second-best.

Bea said...

I like Little Women better when I was a child than I do now, though I wouldn't go so far as to say that I dislike it. I find Marmee's all-knowingness to be a bit much. But the Jo/Amy dynamic is fascinating in light of LMA's real-life relationship with Amy's counterpart.

Kimberly said...

I remember loving LW as a child.

I don't remember why, except that it was a relatively non-sappy book about girls.

I remember disliking Jo. I don't remember why.

Now I gotta go read the darn thing again.

Recovering Sociopath said...

K., do please. I would love your input on it.

happygeek said...

I haven't read it in years. Loved it as a young teen.
Last time I read it I was in University and remember being quite bothered by it's representation of God.
Cannot exactly tell you why now.
However, I am now motivated to read it again.

Hairline Fracture said...

I always loved Little Women. I haven't (re)read it for at least ten years; I'm sure some of my perspective has changed. As a girl, I desperately wanted Jo to marry Laurie, but now I agree with Veronica.

adorned with life said...

First, can I just say that this is my first time here and I'm pretty sure that you must be kidding about being a recovering sociopath as, for one thing, I don't think that sociopaths DO ever recover, and secondly, it's not something to brag about. Having had a very unhappy experience with a TRUE BLOODED sociopath, seeing that makes me wary. This woman made me grateful she lived way down in the US on the opposite side of the continent because I was afraid she was going to murder me. And I wasn't the only person who had that fear, do don't go saying it was irrational because it was totally not. [Inhale.] So, thanks for the post traumatic stress reminder there.

Okay. Little Women is one of my FAVOURITE books. I much prefer the beginning to the end. Same with the movie. (Love the movie with Winona Ryder, etc.) I love all the life lessons Marmie wisely gives to them. I underlined so many things but my nearest copy is one that is not underlined. I seriously have a copy just three feet away from me right now.

I think the book resonated with me so much because my mother was way dysfunctional and we were poor, always were, and I was a single child with absolutely no talent. Unless you call being a smartass a talent. I wanted their life so much and when I read it at age 17, I thought, Okay, so I didn't have that but I could create it. I now have four children, three of them girls. And you best believe I will quote Little Women to them as they get old enough to understand. Also, like Jo, I love to write and I married a man 16 years my senior who had never been married or had kids.

I could get more into the literary reasons why I love it but for that I'd have to go find my underlined copy.

Oh. I could also add that I love older literature with its old fashioned text.

(Ugh. I don't feel like signing in to Typekey to make my real blog show up so I'm forced to use my old Blogger blog. If you allow anon/URL comments, I'll comment more. Promise. Incidentally, I blog at www.BecomingSomething.com)