jessica tholmer
March 23, 2015 7:30 am

One of my dearest friends suggested I should call this “March Madness,” not because of the whole basketball thing, but because of Little Women’s March sisters. I don’t know if you have heard, but the story Little Women is experiencing yet another remake (no, it’s not going to be an all-male cast). The original film was made in the 1930s, but the one I will be referencing here is obviously the 1994 version starring Queen Susan Sarandon as Marmee Dearest. With no further ado:

EINTKILF Little Women

1. Jo is all of us.

I am going to assume that everyone’s favorite character is Jo, and maybe I’m wrong, but let’s talk about it. Jo is a writer, she has an incredibly creative mind, she is very sassy, and she is incredibly independent, even stating, “I don’t believe I shall ever marry!” Are we not all aspiring to be those things? (Not the marriage thing. It’s fine if you’re married or want to be eventually.) I am 2/3 (lacking an “incredibly creative mind”), but Jo is the only little March lady I can really relate to. I am not the oldest in my family, nor am I very calm and collected, like the elegant Meg. I am not a peacekeeper or soft-spoken like Beth, and I am definitely not a wild little brat like Amy, so, here we are.

Even our Savior JK Rowling agrees:

“My favorite literary heroine is Jo March,” she told the New York Times. “It is hard to overstate what she meant to a small, plain girl called Jo, who had a hot temper and a burning ambition to be a writer.”

2. Don’t burn manuscripts

. . .especially when there is no such thing as a backup, AMY.

That youngest child thing kicks in when Jo doesn’t invite Amy to go with her to the theater (or something like that) and Amy decides to just throw Jo’s entire manuscript in the fire. First of all, how dare you, and second of all, are you kidding me? There was no such thing as an auto-save or anything at all when you are WRITING ON PAPER. It’s pretty much the meanest thing ever. (I turned my brother’s video game off before he saved once. It is honestly pretty much the same thing.)

3. Do unto others. 
Because Marmee raised the world’s best children (kinda), the girls are really good at not being very selfish. Times are hard ’round the March household, but the girls still rarely choose to spoil themselves. One Christmas, the ladies decide to buy gifts for their mother instead of themselves, and then later that holiday, they decide to bring food to their less fortunate neighbors instead of feasting on their own. Lord knows that was Marmee’s influence, because some of her daughters could certainly be selfish.

4. Don’t worry about dating. 

Silly boys. After Meg twists her ankle at the very fancy dance party she attends, Laurie (who is a man, for the Joey Tribbianni’s out there) takes care of her by icing her ankle and bringing her home. Amy, the youngest March girl, expresses her jealousy over Meg’s interactions with a young man to which Marmee says, “I won’t have my girls being silly about boys. To bed!”

5. Don’t rush growing up. 

“We all grow up one day, Meg,” says Amy March. “We might as well know what we want.”

Though yes, they do all grow up one day (ugh, well not all of them), Marmee always pushes the girls to be their best young selves instead of rushing through life trying to grow up. The funny thing is, back in the day, kids grew up way too fast, and married way too young, and were generally trying to do everything way too soon. We kind of have the opposite thing now where us young adults (am I a young adult at almost 28) are dragging our feet and living with our parents and trying to never grow up like a bunch of Pans.

6. Find your place. 

After Jo expresses to Marmee that she is afraid she will never fit in anywhere, her mother gives her the best advice.
“Jo, you have so many extraordinary gifts. How can you expect to lead an ordinary life?” 

Marmee continues to tell Jo to “go and embrace your liberty” while encouraging her to just let life happen and see what comes of it. Marmee is literally the greatest mother in literature’s history COME AT ME IF YOU DISAGREE.

7. Assure a man loves you and not just your family.
You know the aforementioned Laurie? Kiiiind of a weird situation since he’s a little into Meg, and then super into Jo, and then marries Amy. I don’t have sisters, but I I wouldn’t like that. Also, if you love someone’s family more than you love the individual, you probably shouldn’t marry them. I’m not judging dear Teddy, but I mean, wtf.


8. Celebrate your individuality. 

Marmee allows her children, even from a young age, to basically do whatever fits their personality. Beth chooses to be homeschooled because she cannot bear being in such a social environment, though on the flipside chatty Kathy/Amy is allowed to be overtly obnoxious all of the time and go to public school until, well, she doesn’t go anymore, but that is a different story. Regardless, Marmee really allows her kids to be who they are going to be, which I think is a super important parenting thing that my mother also did. Thanks, Ma!

9. Women are just the best. 

The way that the March gals love their mother and each other is inspirational, even through all of their fighting, and bickering, and backstabbing. I mean, all in all, what are sisters for? Just kidding, I just told you guys I don’t have sisters, but still. The love of the March family, all the way down to Amy naming her daughter after Beth, is just the most heartwarming thing.

Featured image via, Jo GIF via, March sisters image via, Laurie GIFs via and here

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