Who's your favourite heroine? Have you got one? The first I've ever admired was Jo March from Little Women. I admired her greatly when I was only 9. No other has ever taken her special place,  though I've had other favourites later on.

The main character of Little Women, Jo is an outspoken tomboy with a passion for writing. Her character is based in large part on Louisa May Alcott herself. Jo refuses Laurie’s offer of marriage, despite the fact that everyone assumes they will end up together. In the end, Jo gives up her writing and marries Professor Bhaer, which can be seen either as a domestic triumph or as a professional loss, since Jo loses her headstrong independence.
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Because she displays good and bad traits in equal measure, Jo is a very unusual character for nineteenth-century fiction. Jo’s bad traits—her rebelliousness, anger, and outspoken ways—do not make her unappealing; rather, they suggest her humanity.
I've spent my  childhood reading about her (my favourite one was Little Men, 1871,  in which she's a teacher and runs Plumfield School with her husband , Professor Bhaer) and  I dreamt of being  like her. I was a tomboy too loving reading and writing very much. Dreaming of writing and publishing the story of my large family during the war (grandparents, great-uncles and great-ants). 
I've learnt much from Jo, as I learnt from any  great woman I met in the pages of a great book. But  you can't become Jo March, you must be born Jo March. You must be smart, independent, strong-willed, you must love what you do and do it thoroughly, you must be ready to love others till the sacrifice of your own beautiful long hair, of your lifelong dream even. You may think Jo is someone who tends to be unambitious and rather conventional in her final choice, someone who is contented with little, a bit of a quitter. But I'm convinced she's a very successful woman because she understood something I truly believe in and learnt from her as a child: happiness is not in getting what you dream of, happiness is to be happy with what you have and especially to love everything you do.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still wonder why she turned Laurie down and chose Bhaer...I feel that her state of mind concerning this was not sufficiently explained.
And more importantly, Jo had so much promise. I thought she would do something great, because she had something her sisters did not. Instead social and religious pressure finally broke her into a domestic creature. Self sacrifice is good...but to the point of giving up everything you ever dreamed up and for no good reason but social expectation? Very heartbreaking.