Sunday, February 21, 2016

Little Women Read Along - Discussion Post #2

I really enjoyed this middle section of the book. Still not much in the way of plot, but lots of interesting little situations.

1.    What would be your dream cast for the March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy), Marmee, Laurie, and whoever else you'd like to cast.

I'm the worst at these kinds of things. I keep seeing Winona Rider as Jo, but I refuse to imagine Christian Bale as Laurie. He just doesn't do it for me. Maybe that guy who played Gilbert in the Anne of Green Gables movies? He had that dark, curly/floppy hair.

2.    How do you feel about Meg and Mr. Brooke's relationship? 

I kept expecting this book to be a romance and it's not. So I wanted more from the relationship before they got married. I felt like I mostly got to see their relationship through Jo's eyes, so there aren't many cute, swoony  moments. I did like the chapter after they were married, and all the pressure Meg felt to be the perfect wife. I totally felt that way when I was first married.

3.    How do you feel about Jo's reaction to Meg getting married?

It made me laugh. And this is why:
I have an older sister (named Meg, even!) who is absolutely one of my most favorite people in the world. We're pretty close in age. She was 21 when she got married and I was 19. And I may have reacted in a Jo-like way. I just remember the night before she got married. It was late, we were in a hotel, and she was trying to put on fake acrylic nails. And I was just like "hey, are you really sure you want to marry this guy? If you change your mind it's ok. I'll deal with everyone in the family. You just say the word and I'll take care of it."

This June they'll be married 14 years. Clearly my sister could take care of herself. And I survived the change in our relationship.

4.    The girls are growing up and changing, do you feel differently towards them now than you did at the beginning?

No, I feel like they're just even more of what they were before. Their good qualities are even stronger, and they just have more grown up situations to display some of their weaknesses.

5.    Two important men were introduced in these chapters. What are your impressions of Mr. March and Professor Bhaer?

The dad seems fine? Not that important of a character, though.
All I have to say about Professor Bhaer is "nearly 40."

6.    Do you think it was fair that Amy got to go to Europe instead of Jo?

Sure. Neither one of them was owed a trip to Europe and the people paying thought Amy would be a better fit for their trip. Plus Amy is so into trying to be a sophisticated lady, and Europe seems like the place where she could do that.

7.    What are your thoughts on the time period and setting of the book? Do you like it? Why do you think a very important historical event like the Civil War is hardly mentioned in the story?

I used to think this book was set in England (before I read it, obviously). But I imagine people didn't have news of the War or Reconstruction in the South at the time. Definitely not like we have access to news and information now. So maybe it's realistic that people didn't think about current events much, outside of how it affected the people immediately in their lives.

8.    Louisa May Alcott supposedly patterned the March sisters after herself and her own sisters. How accurate do you think she portrayed her family? Do you think a lot of the book is an idealized version of her and her sisters?

I'm curious about her life now. I read a thing online that made it sound like her heart wasn't really in this story, but that she wrote it because her publisher wanted it. There's a part in the book where Jo gets complimented on one of her stories and ends up saying something like "only silly people like that kind of garbage." And I wonder if LMA was poking fun at her own story a bit.

9.    Why do you think Louisa May Alcott later added Part 2 to the book?

As Jo says, "Some make fun of it, some over-praise, and nearly all insist that I had a deep theory to expound, when I only wrote it for the pleasure and the money."

10.    What is your favorite adaptation of Little Women and why?
I've only seen parts of the 90's movie, so I'm not the best judge here.

Upward and onward to the end of the book!


  1. It is so fun to read your comments and thoughts on one of my very favorite books! If you ever want to discuss it in person, you know I would love to. :)

  2. Your answers were fun, and some made me laugh.

  3. Ah, Gilbert as Laurie! Hmmm... perhaps. I can't get Christian Bale out my head though... because I do think he did a great job even though he doesn't quite fit the description.

  4. I have this book on the bottom of my bookshelf and I won it in a school reading contest but never actually read it! I need to get on that.

  5. I love your answer to #9. I didn't put that as my answer, but I thought the same thing when I read Jo's reactions to what people thought about her writing.

    I like Christian Bale. I've never been in love with him, like I am with so many other actors. But, I still like him, so he's okay as Laurie to me, even though he doesn't look like him a bit. But, I can't think of anyone else I'd want to play Laurie. I like Gilbert as Gilbert, lol.

    And, while I'd never marry someone 20 years my senior, my oldest sister did. Her husband was 28 years older than her, so the age difference isn't that big of a deal for me. What I'm more mad at is that is seems so contrived because LMA doesn't want Jo with Laurie. Maybe, I'll feel differently by the time I finish the book. We'll see.