Thursday, December 19, 2013

How Little Women Relates to My Life, Part 1

To those who aren't aware, I've been working on my Honors Thesis. It's about Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. 

Needless to say, I've been on a Little Women kick recently. I just finished re-reading the book (and it's amazing--simply beautiful), and then I decided that I needed to watch the 1994 film with Winona Ryder, and then I found out there's a Little Women musical, so I've been listening to the music and falling in love with it.

Here are some highlights from my research so far:

Just kidding. That is NOT the most important thing I have learned from my research. But, Christian Bale is perfect as Laurie. Also, Christian Bale is just really attractive, okay? 

And this scene? Where Jo completely shuts him down? You feel so bad for Laurie. Also, let's just talk about how she turns down Christian Bale. Takes a brave woman to do that. 

Anyway . . . 

Really, one of the most fun and interesting things for me as I've been doing this research on Little Women is relating the characters and situations to my own life. I'm an English major, and that is just what I do. Let's be honest, I'm a reader and that's what I do. One reason I love to read is because I can relate to and see myself in characters, and I learn from their joys, mistakes, and heartaches and work through my own as I enter their world. I could go on about the joys of reading and literature, but that's a series of blog posts for another day. 

So, of course I have been trying to figure out which March sisters my sisters and I are most like. (Because there are four of us, just like there are four March sisters.)  

If it's been awhile since you've read Little Women, or if you're not familiar with the story, I'll give a brief description of the four sisters: 

Meg--she's the oldest. When she's younger, she wants to be rich, marry wealthy, and go to fancy parties. When she grows up, she falls in love with a poor man, and she's more than okay with that, because she really loves him. 

Jo--she is the independent, fiery sister. She wants to be a writer. She wants to change the world, and no one is going to stand in her way. As she grows up, life mellows her out a bit, but she still never abandons her dreams. 

Beth--she's the sweet, quiet, shy, kind sister. She is truly an angel. She ends up dying. 

Amy--stereotypical youngest child. She's selfish and ambitious, but at her core she has a heart of gold. 

Honestly, I feel like I am a mix of all of the sisters. Some days I'm more like Meg, other days I'm Beth, and sometimes I am fiery, determined Jo. 

Recently, I've been having a Jo-streak. (And I'm totally okay with that, because Jo is awesome.) 

Let me explain. 

This semester has been full of changes for me. It's been different in so many ways. It's been stressful, but very fulfilling. One of the reasons this semester has been so rewarding is that I actually have a life plan that I'm excited about! Like, I have a career goal and plans. And I'm excited about them. 

I won't go into too much detail (if you really want to know, just ask me, and I will talk your ear off), but let's just say that it involves academia. And probably too many years in grad school. And it may end up looking something like this: 

[image courtesy of]

But I promise there's a reason. A really, really good reason to go to grad school. Now I have a dream to work toward. And I'm excited. 

Which brings me to why I feel like Jo. Because she also has her goals, and she is determined to reach them. She's not afraid to dream. She's not afraid to work for her dreams, even if they seem impossible. Right now, this is me. 

I may or may not have been listening to music from Little Women: The Musical (which is brilliant, by the way--it's so, so good--I love it) and I just have to share the song which has been the theme of my life for the past few weeks . . . minus the part about someone asking me to marry him. Because that hasn't happened and probably won't for some time. So don't worry. 

The song begins to describe my life around 1:20. So you can just skip to there. 

Here are the lyrics: 

"I thought home was all I'd ever want
My attic all I'd ever need.
Now nothing feels the way it was before
And I don't know how to proceed.
I only know I'm meant for something more
I've got to know if I can be

There's a life
That I am meant to lead
A life like nothing I have known
I can feel it
And it's far from here
I've got to find it on my own

Even now I feel its heat upon my skin.
A life of passion that pulls me from within,
A life that I am making to begin.
There must be somewhere I can be

I'll find my way
I'll find it far away
I'll find it in unexpected and unknown
I'll find my life in my own way

Here I go
And there's no turning back
My great adventure has begun
I may be small
But I've got giant plans
To shine as greatly as the sun

I will blaze until I find my time and place
I will be fearless,
Surrendering modesty and grace
I will not disappear without a trace
I'll shout and start a riot
Be anything but quiet
Christopher Columbus! 
I'll be Astonishing

At Last!"

This is me right now. 

I am Jo, standing on the threshold of something bigger than myself. At least, that's how I feel. Idealistic? Yes. But I am a dreamer, and ever will be. 

I may be small, but I've got giant plans to shine as brightly as the sun.

                                               [image courtesy of]

The future is bright. No more waiting for my life to begin. It begins today. 

I'll be astonishing at last. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. I just eat up every word you write! love love love it.