It is uncanny how some people are obsessed with the love life of Jo March and Louisa May Alcott and refuse to see Friedrich as a character in his own right based to an assumption that the writer might have been gay. There is multiple evidence which shows that Lucy Maud Montgomery might have been a lesbian (and many Montgomery scholars believe she was) and a great deal of Anne of green gables was based on the author´s life so in a way it´s also semi-biographical.
Yet no one is tearing Gilbert and Anne apart because of that.
In the 19th century relationships between women were more sentimental (we see this with Anne and Diana). In our modern-day perspective, it can feel strange and even romantic but in those times the world between men and women was strictly divided.
Reminds me of what @ajedisith said about Fritz possibly being bi. LMA grew up in the transcendentalist circles, do some research and you´ll find out that there was lots of gender fluidly among them. There were also rumors back then that both Henry-David Thoreau and Emmerson who Louisa had crushes on (and was possibly in love with) and to whom she partly based Friedrich´s character were also bi´s (not that there was a term for it during those times).
Sexual orientation is a spectrum same way as gender. The queer theory only tends to be about Jo (maybe we should broaden it up) and there is lots of speculation that Jo was trans/gender fluid. LMA liked to dress up as a boy the same way as Jo. Friedrich has zero problems with the fact that Jo is not traditionally feminine. I see Jo as gender fluid and Fritz as someone who accepted her as gender-fluid (and maybe Fritz was also gender fluid) but at the same, it is an assumption, not something that we or I can prove.
Some people say Jo was asexual which would make LMA ace. It definitely seems that LMA was on the spectrum but in her adult works there are sexual themes (read “long fatal love chase” everyone) and there are records which show that she had sexual feelings towards some of her male friends which rules out her being an ace but that doesn´t mean that she was not on the spectrum.
What it comes to Jo and Friedrich, the girl was lusty over the professor. She checks him out from head to toes multiple times.
Then there are cultural differences. You´ll hear some people calling Fritz emancipated because he has feminine/nurturing features (the argument is quite silly since Jo is attracted to them). I was quite baffled when I heard people using this argument against Fritz for the first time. The way Fritz plays with kids is not too different from the way Swedish, Norwegians, Germans and Russians for example act with children. This goes back to the “little women controversy” Jo has a boy´s name, Laurie has a girl´s name, Jo wants to be a man, both Fritz and Laurie possess feminine qualities, but these “feminine” qualities are also cultural differences (for example Laurie being very emotional is seen as a feminine quality, he is also half-Italian, so it can be in his heritage).
In the end, does Louisa May Alcott´s sexual orientation matter? she wrote excellent thought-provoking books that we still read today.
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
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