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Topic: Little Women- up to chapter 36

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Subject: Little Women- up to chapter 36
Date Posted: 12/9/2008 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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I've really enjoyed this section of the book.  I love the motif of art/literature in the book, and how it draws a parallel between Amy and Jo, who seem so different on the surface, but have such similar goals and tempraments.  Amy and Jo are a fascinating complement; the way Amy always tried to seem more grown up than she was, while Jo tried to retain the freedom of being a young girl.  I especially enjoyed the chapters where Jo was in New York, writing and teaching.  Although I can't make myself feel that her sensational novels are something to be ashamed of.  That part's a bit dated IMO.  I think any woman of any era should be proud to support herself and her family though her writing, although I do kind of understand some of what Alcott is saying about artistic integrity and trying to make the most of your talent and not selling out.

I also loved the anecdotes of Meg and John's marraige, how they both plan to be so perfect and find themselves falling short.  Alcott has a knack of making "moral" stories seem funny and genuine instead of preachy or corny.

And finally-  WHY WHY WHY isn't Jo in love with Laurie?  Who could be more perfect for her?  I can see that she's also attracted to Professor Bhaer, but WHY doesn't she love Laurie?  Gah! This is one of those books where I both like the way things turn out and desperately want them to be different!

Last Edited on: 12/9/08 10:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2008 4:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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It's interesting how Alcott tries to paint Jo's sensational novels as something to be ashamed of, when Alcott herself supported her family with that exact same kind of writing. She must have felt that she wasn't living up to her talent.

I like the romance between Jo and Professor Bhaer. I could never really see her with Laurie--they seem like the kind of characters who would drive each other crazy and never accomplish anything together. But, I'm not crazy about Laurie and Amy together, either. It seems like Amy was a total second thought/ second choice to him.


Date Posted: 12/11/2008 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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According to Alcott's biography, the reason Jo didn't marry Laurie is that the character she based Laurie on died young and she just couldn't bring herself to tie the character (Jo) that represented herself to him after that.

The Professor supposedly represents Emerson and Thoreau - both of whom she had "crushes" on as a girl.

Date Posted: 12/28/2008 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2008
Posts: 340
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I know I wasn't supposed to find it funny when Professor Bhaer was talking about sensational writing, but I had to laugh a little.  I kept thinking that they should see what's being written now.

I read a lot as a child, but somehow I missed out on Little Women.  My mom wanted me to read it though.  She identified mainly with Jo, and I identify mainly with Beth (the shyness, not the goodness).  Because of that, I especially like the relationship between Jo and Beth in the book.