A Love for ‘Little Women’

I’ve found inspiration for this post after deciding that, for my Honors class this semester, I am going to write a parody of a film review that I don’t agree with for my midterm. And after much consideration and thinking about films that I have absolutely adored, I have decided on ‘Little Women’. Given a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, only 17 of the 379 approved Critic reviews were a splat, but it still gives me something to work with.

The movie received several Academy Award nominations, and even won for Best Costume Design. I had the pleasure of seeing the movie twice on screen, and what an absolute joy it was. The first time, I started crying about 20 minutes in and didn’t stop till I left the theater.

SPOILER ALERT (maybe?): Little Women has always been a monumental part of my life growing up. I remember reading the Children’s Classic version with my mom and sister. When we finished, we watched the 1994 film. Well, a little fun fact is that the Children’s Classic is only Part I of the novel. So I, at 7 years old, was beyond shocked and DEVASTATED when Beth died! Because that didn’t happen in the book! To this day, I remember it to be my first real movie death. A tragedy. 

This movie highlights the similarities and yet contrasts between Amy and Jo in a unique light. Sometimes it’s impossible to see the justified reasoning behind their actions, like Amy burning Jo’s novel, or Jo getting mad at Amy for something she doesn’t know. Through the fights, marriage, trips to Europe, and falls through ice, they’re still sisters. And maybe they don’t see eye to eye, but especially when Beth dies, they still love each other.

I think that on many levels, all women can relate with one, some, or even all of the March sisters. While I see myself in Meg and Amy, and yes, even a bit of Beth, I do really identify with Jo in this season of my life. If you’ve talked to me recently and got to hear me rant, I think I’ve directly quoted Jo before I even saw the movie. Last semester, in my Women & Politics class, I got to learn about all the ways that things still aren’t equal for women in society and the workforce, and this movie, despite being in the 1800s, manages to capture some of those struggles.

I liked the ending of this movie, with the idea that maybe Jo’s story doesn’t end how the novel ends. The constant jabs at the economic properties of marriage made me laugh because they aren’t wrong, especially for that time period. And Jo’s speech about the need to be independent but loved is something to which a lot of young women can relate. 

When we look at who we are and what we aspire to be, it can be really hard to reflect on whether or not we have made these aspirations based on our innate qualities. For myself, I wonder if I would still want to be a lawyer if I was a boy. It seems like a silly question but it’s really valid. And I don’t know the answer because a lot of what has pointed me in the direction of the field of law based on the equality issues still facing women today. Would I still have the same passion to fight these fights if I were on the outside rather than the inside? I will never be able to answer those questions, but they are something to think about.

This film was nominated for Best Motion Picture, and Greta Gerwig for Best Writing  Adapted Screenplay. Taika Waititi ended up taking home the latter award, and I’m hoping my next post is focused on the anti-hate satire that is Jojo Rabbit because I’m so excited to watch that movie. 


2 thoughts on “A Love for ‘Little Women’

  1. Dr. Dan Williams says:

    Thanks for the post. I look forward to reading your parody. Little Women, in all of its various forms, is a powerful story. And I agree, your [post was well written.


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