One of the most common philosophical themes in Louisa May Alcott´s work is the dislike of solipsism and/or overcoming it, denial to see full reality of other people, a highly self-centric world view. Anger is Jo´s biggest issue and yet big part of her wanting to be different unconventional tomboy stemmed out from the desire to stand out, getting attention and showing off. Jo has great qualities but her adamant nature was more than often fused by her insecurities. Laurie literally shouted at her that she doesn´t let anyone too close.
When Jo grows her world becomes larger. There are tremendous victories and heavy downfalls. There were three people who she allowed herself to be fully vulnerable with; Marmee, Beth and Friedrich. Each of them accepts her strong sense of individuality and helps her to come in terms with herself. If they all have contrasting temper to Jo that is because they have learned to control it and even in Jo´s Boys where Jo is in her 50´s she admits she still struggles with her anger.
Jo went through a great deal of growing pains while trying to find who she truly was. Is Jo March just another “not like the other girls”? Not like the other girls is about separating oneself from the girls to get validation from the boys while at the same exalting the other girls. It is a form of solipsism. You don´t hear a boy saying “I am not like the other boys” because that is not the boys way. Teen age Jo was not like the other girls but when she is called to conform not being like other girls no longer works and she struggles to find her place.
I talked with someone who was extremely angry the way Jo brought Daisy a toy kitchen in Little Men. When I read Little Men again recently I thought it was Jo´s best feminist moment in that book. She was mature woman not a 15 year old tomboy trying to tell all other girls around her how they should live their lives. If Daisy wants to cook let her cook. Isn´t that the same as to deny Jo not to write? or Amy not to draw? but it is less valid for Daisy to do that simply because cooking was more associated to women. It is ironic and sad how many Jo fans refuse to see that she is a character who grows, makes mistakes and learns from them.
#Jo March #Identity
#Since When Feminism Meant Putting Women Down
#Four Books that span several decades character growth should be expected.
Check out more of my Little Women meta:
Little Women 1970 Amy and Laurie Romance
We Germans Believe in Sentiment
Friedrich Bhaer Aesthetics
Equal Marriage Lost in Translation
Little Women 2019 Trailer (Long Rant)
Little Women 1933
Best Jo and Fritz fanfics you´ve ever read
Quest of Friedrich Bhaer and why my inner Jo loves him
He was attractive as a genial fire
Little Men and Tender Parenthood
Little Women symbolism of the umbrella
Thoughts on #TeamLaurie and #TeamBhaer
Artist, illustrator, writer and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
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