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When the Author Gets It Wrong: Jo March and Laurie Laurence

When the Author Gets It Wrong: Jo March and Laurie Laurence

The first post by Andrea Lundgren in our Laurie vs Professor Bhaer blog debate! Andrea opens with an excellent case for why Jo March should have married Laurie.

Andrea Lundgren

Generally, I defend authors as being the most likely candidates to get a storyline right. They should know their characters better than anyone else, and their insights are very valuable—never to be discounted. Sometimes, though, I think an author’s prejudice or personal opinions can skew their understanding of their characters, and one major instance of this is in Little Women, in the relationship between Jo March and Laurie Laurence.

Supposedly, Ms. Alcott never wanted Jo to marry anyone, remaining single throughout the books, as she herself was in real life, but the clamor of the fans and probably the pressure of her publisher made her go a different route. (Perhaps she did it to spite her fans?) But I don’t feel like the first volume supported the second volume, and I think Jo would’ve fallen for Laurie, if the author hadn’t interfered.

First of all, there are plenty of textual…

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Posted by on January 16, 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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