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Love, But Not As We Know It

Love, But Not As We Know It

Andrea Lundgren and I have come to the end of our blog debate and I want to thank her for participating! I had a wonderful time writing and reading and found her thoughts extremely thought provoking. In closing the debate, she has written a post summing up her conclusions, both on Jo’s choice of husband and on the nature of marriage and love.

Andrea Lundgren

I’ve been thinking about Little Women and Jo March’s romance all weekend, and I think the difference of reader opinion about who she should’ve married–Laurie Laurence or Professor Bhaer–is rooted in our own perspectives on love and marriage. The two men represent very different kinds of relationships, and our response to them is largely determined, I think, by which sort of marriage we like, want, or have.

Laurie’s Kind of Marriage

Being married to a person like Laurie would be an adventure. He’d want you along for all his schemes, helping him get in and out of trouble. You’d be his best friend, and, for it to work well, he’d have to be yours. He’d share everything with you: his worries, frustrations, struggles, successes, striving for your approval, looking to you for comfort. You would be everything to him, and for the marriage to work, he’d have to be everything…

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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Fiction, Literary Thoughts

 

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The Good Wives Recipe to Marrying Off the Wrong Couples

On Friday, Andrea Lundgren and I are going to have a Laurie vs. Professor Bhaer blog debate over which man Jo March from Little Women should have chosen for her husband. As a warm up, here is a very funny, but also insightful, post by Andrea on how an author can skillfully steer a story in the direction they want, despite not having set up the direction properly.

Andrea Lundgren

Good Wives is the sequel to Little Women: Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy, often published together in the same book. Nowadays, most people don’t realize they are reading two very different books, but there was a year’s gap between the original publication of part one and part two, and it seems the choices Louisa May Alcott made for the sequel were not necessarily planned ahead of time.

She doesn’t seem certain there will be a sequel, since the first volume ends by stating “[T]he curtain falls upon Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Whether it ever rises again, depends upon the reception given the first act…”

When I first read the two volumes, I took everything more or less at face value, but rereading them late last year made me realize how off-course the whole thing became. First, Beth’s near-death in book one was, I always felt, the stronger ending…

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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Fiction, Literary Thoughts

 

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