The little things to take away from the little women

The 1869 novel of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has shaped me into the person I am today

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Despite his tired eyes and my bent copy of the book, Jack and I would highly recommend to read Little Women!!!

Makayla Bech, Staff Writer

I first read this novel as a freshman and have continued to re-read it four more times. Ever since that first read, my personality and sense of self changed drastically. This novel allowed me to discover important aspects of life and to focus on the people that surround me on a daily basis. Growing up in a house with three older sisters, I was able to relate greatly to every single one of the four sisters described within this novel. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March have shaped me into the person that I am today. Each sister has specific characteristics and details about themselves that I believe are important aspects that everyone should incorporate into their lives.

The oldest sister, Meg, is representative of the tradition in the world. She is a perfect picture of a well-rounded individual that is a believer of the practical and strives to see the positive in every situation. With these character traits, I am able to interpret that being good leads to amazing destinations. She has always been a mirror of her mother and was even named after her. She is the person whom the younger sisters look up to and who they go to confide to. Despite the constant sisterly rivalry between Jo and Amy, Meg never is one to choose sides and is there to see the practicality in the arguments. The one thing that Meg refuses to see the practicality in is that of love. She is the first of the sisters to marry and elopes with the tutor of the main male symbol in the story, Laurie. The tutor’s name is John Brooke. Despite the societal norms of American society during the Civil War, Meg does not marry for money but marries for love. I admire the aspect greatly, for I believe that love conquers everything else and that if two people love each other the world is their oyster.

At the ripe age of 15 when the novel opens, Jo March envelops in a boyish personality. She has a creative spirit about her and rejects the traditional lifestyle of a woman in a 1800s world. She refuses to marry and strives to protect her family from any outside dangers. In fact she confesses many times that she wishes that she was with her father fighting in the Union Army. Jo loves to write and wants nothing more than to be a successful, independent female author. She is best friends with their neighbor, Laurie. Despite everyone’s want for the two to confess their love to each other, Jo rejects Laurie even though she is evidently in love with him. She knows that she is destined to be successful on her own and not lead into the norm of marrying a rich man. What I take away from Jo is to always be dependent on one’s self. At the end of the day an individual has to be self-reliant and knowing of their worth to get anywhere in life.

The sweet Beth is my current favorite sister. She is a quiet and shy individual that is nothing but supportive of all of her sisters. She is perceived to have never done any wrong and is deeply loved by everyone around her. Due to her quiet nature she is a complicated character to analyze, despite this complication it is what I admire the most about her. I adore how she does not let people in all of the time and leaves a sense of mystery about her. She is an introverted piano player and tends to keep to herself. Beth is a direct representation of who I was at a younger age. I had a lack of social want and preferred to bask in my shyness and strayed away from conversation with others. Due to this I was always perceived as being sweet, however my intelligence and goodwill was overlooked. However, I had a strong sense of self-worth alike to Beth.

The youngest sister is that of Amy. Amy is perceived as being the spoiled youngest sibling. Many critics claim that Amy is nothing but spoiled; however, I feel great empathy for her. I am the youngest sister and am often misinterpreted as getting everything I want. However, this is so far from the truth. The truth is that we have learned so much from our older sisters that we have consumed all of their traits and shaped them into the people that we are today. We are able to learn from their wrongdoings and take away from their good deeds as well. Amy is a very loud person and never allows her opinion to be muted. I believe that this is a good characteristic because in this time period, women we supposed to be quiet in their opinions and not speak freely. What I have learned from her is to refuse to comply with societal norms and to be unapologetically myself.

Without going into great detail because I do not want to spoil any complexities of the story, what I will say is that this coming of age novel is a necessity to read. I have watched the 2019 film and although it is a great motion picture representation of the novel, there are so many details that are absent that reign so much importance into the story. The various character complexities inscribed within this classic piece of literature is both personable and a great way to discover things about life that cannot be found anywhere else expect within the March household.