Tag Archives: Little Women

Romantic quote #5

February is drawing to a close and I’m glad to present my fifth and last quote for the month of love. This was taken from Amy March’s letter to her mother on her engagement to Laurie. Honestly, Amy is my least liked March sister because I still feel bitter that she ended up being Mrs. Theodore Laurence — and not our dear Jo — but the way she conveyed her love for him was really selfless and genuine that I think I should give her a chance. I may be denying this but perhaps deep down, Amy might actually be my favorite March sister… Oh no, forget I said that. Jo all the way!



A message from Marmee

In line of the upcoming Mother’s Day, I would like to share an excerpt from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. It’s such a thoughtful conversation between Marmee and her two daughters, Meg and Jo, that I decided to share this. Please take time to read it (especially you, young ladies, out there) and indulge in its charming message.

I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected, to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman; and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, Meg; right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it; so that, when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties, and worthy of the joy. My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, — marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes, because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, — and, when well used, a noble thing, — but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.       — Marmee

Poor girls don’t stand any chance, Belle says, unless they put themselves forward. — Meg

Then we’ll be old maids. — Jo

Right, Jo; better be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or unmaidenly girls, running about to find husbands. Don’t be troubled, Meg; poverty seldom taunts a sincere lover. Some of the best and most honored women I know were poor girls, but so love-worthy that they were not allowed to be old maids. Leave these things to time; make this home happy, so that you may be fit for homes of your own, if they are offered you, and contented here if they are not. One thing remember, my girls, mother is always ready to be your confidant, father to be your friend; and both of us trust and hope that our daughters, whether married or single, will be the pride and comfort of our lives. — Marmee

I hope you enjoyed this and found it as insightful as I did. Happy Mother’s Day!

The comfort of literary heroes

People look to stories as a sanctuary — one that is filled with heroes that we could easily conjure when their presence is highly wanted. It actually took a long time for me to realize its amazing purpose, or more like it took me a long time to put a name to it. Alberto Manguel was right, we turn to books to find words for what we already know. I wonder what more things my mind is still unconscious of. 😉

Reading Little Women for the third time labeled it for me. Jo March lived in the comforts of her literary heroes so when the time came to put them away, she found reality an unmanageable task. It’s a great comfort to know you can summon remarkable characters at will — called for in happiness, sorrow, or perhaps when in want of an aphorism or two. In the case of Briony (yes, the Briony from Atonement) summoning these characters and giving them happy lives was her unique way of atoning. I’ve always wanted to read Atonement; ever since I’ve seen the movie (which was awesome, by the way), I’ve been dying to get my hands on the book so when I finally saw a copy of it at the bookstore, there were no hesitations. The title is just utterly perfect, I couldn’t think of anything more to name it.

For those who are not familiar with the story, let me just do a quick rundown. Briony Tallis, with her wildly imaginative and precocious mind, witnessed a seemingly uncanny scene between her sister, Cecilia, and their housekeeper’s intelligent son, Robbie Turner, by the fountain. Thinking of it more on the malicious side, she went on to tell a lie that altered their lives forever. The results of which were the untimely deaths and the unfulfilled love of Cecilia and Robbie… Okay, so my rundown didn’t make much sense so you might as well read it to experience its ingenuity. It’s written by Ian McEwan, by the way, who is quite a modern genius, I dare say.

Briony, being a writer herself, immortalized Cecilia and Robbie by letting them live in the story which she was yet to publish. It’s her one last noble and reconciling act. By letting them live and love as freely as they deserved, she was making amends for a sin she knew she could never undo.

Literary heroes. We all have them. So who’s yours?

Castle in the air

I’ve read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in three different stages of my life: first when I was as young and frivolous as twelve-year-old Amy, second when I was as restless as fifteen-year-old Jo, and third when I felt like I’ve outgrown my frivolity and restlessness. One thing, however, remains the same: I’m still frustrated that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together.

It’s a pleasure to witness the friendship between Jo and Laurie so the romantic in me wanted nothing more than to see them together happily ever after, however it’s the same romantic who failed to understand the outcome which was Jo and Prof. Bhaer (I guess my romantic ego is still immature for that). I’m thankful for these Oxford World versions because they give readers insights on every bit of detail on the novel and author; so I was able to discover that Jo sought more warmth and intimacy in a partner, something which she saw Laurie lacked. For me, it was quite rash and unfair of her because she will never know if Laurie indeed possessed those qualities unless she gave him a chance to prove it as a lover, but I guess she knew him best and was able to augur she might never see a match in him except as her dearest friend.  In almost a decade that I’ve loved Little Women, I’m quite frustrated and I still hope Jo had a change of heart.

Tell me, are you also a Jo-Laurie supporter, or do you think Bhaer suited her more? What do you think?

This novel never fails to warm my heart.

On another note, I was rather interested in the friends’ confessions of their castles in the air, and there I’ve realized I never shared mine with my intimate friends. Sure, everybody dreams of being successful but it’s too general that most of the time, people don’t even know where to begin. I, for one, surpassing my wish to have a happy and fulfilling life, have been having one castle in the air, something that built itself up as I slowly learned: I dream to ride on a steam train that would take me to a breathtaking manor where inside lies a majestic library filled with all the books I could ever read.

What about you? What is your castle in the air? 🙂