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02 January 2009 @ 11:13 pm
what one sweet page can teach  
Little Women can't count as a Book Glomp book because I've read it before, approximately eight million times, and those are the completely arbitrary rules I've just made up. However, it struck me while reading Good Wives - my copy is 2-in-1 - that a lot of people would have liked Laurie to end up with Jo instead of Amy.

Now, when I first read this the Amy/Laurie seemed to me to be very good and right. That is because I didn't question authorial intent much when I was nine. But subsequent re-readings have never dulled my enthusiasm for the pairing, nor my preference for it over Laurie/Jo. In fact, when I first heard of people shipping the other way, I was appalled! This might have a lot to do with the fact that Jo is my least favourite character, unlike Amy. Amy was all I wanted to be - pretty, artistic, refined. Jo was, well, not. I wasn't interested in characters whose one beauty was their hair, and then cut it off. I was a shallow child. (Ha! As if that's changed). I also agreed with Marmee that their characters were too similiar to work together in marriage, and pretty much adored Bhaer. I thought he did very well for Jo, but not for me or anyone like me, thanks.

So I'm interested, people. Who would you vote for? Bearing in mind that Alcott in fact wanted Jo to remain single, but her publishers forced her to write in a happy marital ending.

Poll #1324351 Little Women

And the one true pairing is...


I expect defences from everyone who picks Jo/Laurie, by the way!
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: denial :: sugababes
murklins: explosivemurklins on January 2nd, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Neither. I just wanted Jo to not get her heart broken like that and for Laurie and Amy to both die in a fire.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: black catscoradh on January 2nd, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
Pfft, his heart wasn't broken - his pride was bruised! Different organ entirely.

...Which isn't a strong reaction at all, lol. Care to expand on that? :P
(no subject) - murklins on January 3rd, 2009 12:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fenrir_khan on January 3rd, 2009 01:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - murklins on January 4th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
secretsolitairesecretsolitaire on January 2nd, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Hee, I felt exactly the way you did about Amy. She was always my favorite and Jo my least favorite. I always felt like the author really wanted me to love Jo, as though she were pushing her as the favorite, and it irked me. LOL.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Coloured pencilsscoradh on January 2nd, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Jo just reminded me of all those people I know who go around saying, 'I'd rather stay in bed than put on makeup', and you feel like saying back, 'You really should, though, with that face.' Jo was a self-insert to end all self-inserts, I think I could tell that even a decade plus ago.
Loyaulte Me Lie: pumpkinshocolate on January 2nd, 2009 11:41 pm (UTC)
Jo and Laurie were perfect together - what does being similar matter? - they loved each other like mad and had a fabulous time and I totally knew they'd end up together.

I was flabbergasted when her nasty, airheaded, shallow little sister stole him away.

And literally threw up in my mouth when she met an old man, and let him touch her.

ETA : omg, I've never felt so Harmoanian - I'm on my own, here!

Edited at 2009-01-02 11:45 pm (UTC)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Candy lipsscoradh on January 2nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Being similar matters because they'd have killed each other. It's like having two depressives in the house - not a good idea. Or two pessimists. Some personality traits are good to share, like your opinion of vegetables and child-rearing. Others should be avoided like the plague. Jo did the only sensible thing in her life, turning Laurie down.

Plus, Amy didn't STEAL HIM AWAY - Jo had already long relinquished him! Plus, he needed a wife who'd use his wealth instead of being all holy Mary about it *coughJO*.

Bhaer was only thirty-something, and nice to kids, and German. It was about as good as Jo was gonna do.
(no subject) - shocolate on January 3rd, 2009 12:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shocolate on January 3rd, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 12:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
amazing vaguely humanoid armadilloperson: the creaturecryptid on January 2nd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
I read that book, oh... 12 to 14 years ago, something like that. I think I must have read another book than a lot of people, because pretty much all I remember about it is that it nearly bored me to tears. So, er, I guess I'm not any use to this discussion at all. Sorry. :S
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: daisiesscoradh on January 2nd, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
It's almost insufferably moral, now that I come to read it as an atheist and cynic. I like Bhaer less now that I find out he disagrees with Kant. Still, it was a formative book of my youth and I cannot disregard it.
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(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 12:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - mockingbirdq on January 3rd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Here's a text version from project Gutenberg - pagerd on January 3rd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Here's a text version from project Gutenberg - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - scoradh on January 3rd, 2009 10:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cryptid on January 3rd, 2009 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
sleepingfingers on January 2nd, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
I haven't read this in such a long time that I don't feel confident voting, but I do remember disliking Amy and thus disliking Laurie when he ended up with her (and didn't think he was at all fit for Jo afterwards). My reactions might be different now if I give it a re-read, though.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: frangipaniscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
My favourite Amy chapter is at the fair, where she graciously concedes the art table and even leaves her pretty things behind to be sold there. It shows far more greatness of spirit than Jo ever did, imo. Also, I kind of hate characters who write, they're so obviously taken from life.

I don't know why you get dumped with this, but so be it! :D
Anna Fugazzi: Still waters run deepannafugazzi on January 3rd, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
It just never occurred to me to ship Jo/Laurie, despite the fact that one of the 324 times I read the books was last year. When I was certainly old enough to question authorial intent, by, like, a lot.

I love Jo; I identify with her a lot. And I like Bhaer, but don't particularly care for Jo falling for an older man. Not much into crossgen, despite the many lovely possibilities it offers, possibly because my dad is married to a woman two years younger than me and the whole thing kinda icks me deeply.

But I agree that Laurie and Jo were too much alike in many ways, and too unlike in others, to be able to live together. They're both hot-tempered, stubborn, energetic, and have a great sense of humour. He likes pretty things and refined culture, though, and I think he would eventually have stopped being charmed by Jo's blase attitude towards both.

Not sure he and Amy were destined to make a great couple; I mean, they did, because that's how Alcott wrote them, but I think real people like them might not have had a great marriage after all.

And Alcott wanted Jo unmarried in the end? Wow. Go her!
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Bookishscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
I think he would eventually have stopped being charmed by Jo's blase attitude towards both.

Yes, exactly! Jo, at least, had the sense to see that. Jo wanted to be on the front lines of helping others, while Laurie wanted his own comforts first. Besides, the hectoring would have paled in its charm if he had to put up with it from a 24/7 wife instead of a once a day friend.

You mean rich people? Well, she does stress that they devoted themselves to good works as well as maintaining a fine home and all the rest. Not that you could escape an Alcott novel without doing good works, naturally.

Yeah - as far as I can remember from wherever I read this, Jo was based on herself (no duh), and she stayed single or was a lesbian or something - so. Also, apparently she wrote really steamy novels on her downtime!
Voldemoo: drunkass micefrantic_mice on January 3rd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
I vote Jo/Laurie çause Laurie's gay.

every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Japanese bluescoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
oopsoddishly on January 3rd, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
WHOA dude, just whoa. You can't go saying things like that without some kind of qualification, something like 'subsequent re-readings have never dulled my enthusiasm for the pairing ... AS LONG AS you pretend that there was actually some kind of depth to their relationship beyond Laurie thinking that Amy's this pretty little thing and Amy thinking that Laurie's ...' - well, I can't actually remember what it is that Amy liked so much about Laurie. Something about him protecting her? Or something?

I LOVED Jo. Jo was me. And Bhaer? Well, sure. He was wonderful. He was also old, and they worked because it wasn't a romantic relationship for any reason other than LM Alcott made it one.

I'm stuck between agreeing with the author that Jo should have remained single, and that she should have ended up with Laurie. I'm digging into the back of my memory here, but I always kind of thought that they were only one serious argument away from them both realising that actually ... if they made the effort, really made the effort, they'd pretty damn perfect together. And really, don't you think that Laurie and Amy were too similar? Both spoilt brats without any idea about - well, things? How do you even make that work?

Have you read Little Men, btw? No, hold on - Jo's Boys, that's the one I mean. I've never found anyone else who's read it!
murklins: high fivemurklins on January 3rd, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
I have read it! SOLIDARITY.

Sadly, I do not remember it, though.
(no subject) - oddishly on January 3rd, 2009 12:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - murklins on January 3rd, 2009 12:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
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Mockingbird Q: readmockingbirdq on January 3rd, 2009 01:45 am (UTC)
I always love Little Women as a child but despised the ending. Of course Jo should have ended up with Laurie, who so completely adored her. Instead she ignored him completely and ended up with a doddering old professor who she dressed like an old woman for and who made her old before her time (Well, hell - I suppose having a crop of boys didn't help matters either.)

So, my OTP would be Jo/Laurie, but that would have required her not taking him for granted and keeping some of the spirit and strong personality she displayed earlier in the novel - which obviously Alcott felt was unacceptable...

I've never recovered from my disappoint obviously ;)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: skirtscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
That's pretty anti-feminist, to suggest that a woman should just take the first man who happens to show an interest in her, instead of following her own inclination. :D Now!

See, I think the point was she couldn't have kept all that with Laurie. He was too young and headstrong, he needed a wife who was both docile and a sly manager. Jo was neither.

Yes, that is pretty clear, lol.
(no subject) - mockingbirdq on January 4th, 2009 07:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
uminohikariuminohikari on January 3rd, 2009 02:36 am (UTC)
When I first read it, I absolutely hated Amy, and was crushed when Jo turned Laurie down. A couple years later, I changed my mind, and hated /Jo/, so the Amy/Laurie ending was perfectly okay with me
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: maskscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Unlike you, my opinion never swayed. Team Amy forever!
screaming cardiac frenzy of berserk despair: stock // sheep-ishacchikocchi on January 3rd, 2009 02:43 am (UTC)
My basic defense is pretty irrational -- first read was also at the tender age of eight or nine and I got suckered into believing it would be the obvious couple from the beginning, and then my little brain couldn't cope with changing gears. XD I imprinted like a duckling, basically. In retrospect, I've also always had a big weakeness for best-friends-becoming-more. (Tangent: the exception to this rule is Ryan/Spencer, which I've never been remotely interested in.) Though as far as the personality thing goes... you know, I always just accepted that at face value (that authorial intent thing you mention!) without thinking about it myself. Scratch that, I'd have to think before I can say whether I agree with it or not. XD
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Bollywoodscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
See, I'm quite the opposite. I've always been totally freaked out by the idea of one of my boy friends suddenly changing his mind about his feelings towards me. I'd feel utterly betrayed and would never speak to him again; I admire Jo for acting with the dignity she did. I'd've kicked him in the balls.

Oddly enough, my one exception to this IS Ryan/Spencer, which is the pairing of my heart at times.
moocowmisconstrue on January 3rd, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
oh man, it's been so, so long since I read this (elementary school?) and I remember being a little devastated because it was so unexpected. He was settling in my mind, doing that "well, if I can't have her I'll have...that one!" I have to admit, that I loved Jo and tried to have a writing hat too because hi, I am a dork. I also read ALL of the books, down to Jo's Boys and the whole prickly fruit line stays with me to this day. In my more melodramatic moments I wonder if I too am a prickly fruit waiting for etc. etc. And then I remember that he squicked me a little because it was so unexpected. Um, random older German guy shows up and you're all "yes, I will bear your children?" My inner feminist was confused.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: HP: Elvendorkscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
I don't think I saw them as being romantic when I was nine; she wrote them too well as friends/siblings. I love the whole series, but the one thing that freaks me out is the prickly pear line! I hated, and hate, the idea of being taken unawares with something like that, and also that my prickly shell isn't a part of me that any potential guy would just have to deal with.

Surely it's feminist to go after and get what you want? Laurie is not what Jo wanted, which is the point many are obstinately failing to grasp!
The Girl that Blocked her own Shotquatre_k on January 3rd, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
I always felt that he didn't so much want Jo as he wanted to be a part of their family. They were best friends and she never wanted him she didn't want him to propose and she had a brief moment of weakness after Beth died because she wanted his comfort. Amy and Laurie always seemed like a perfect match as did Jo and Professor Bhaer
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: Balloonsscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yes! I agree. Not that you could have ever satisfied the Jo/Laurie-ers, no matter what alternatives she came up with.
winstonmomwinstonmom on January 3rd, 2009 07:49 am (UTC)
My reasoning isnt'that deep. I liked Jo because I wanted to be Jo and I completely fell in love with Laurie because he was the kind of boy I wanted to meet. So, based on my very simplistic explanation I wanted Jo/Laurie because "I" liked the boy :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: frangipaniscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Which does make sense! I have just never identified with a character to that extent, so I judge it more 'objectively' - and Amy fit.
jehnt: narnia - peter - fightingjehnt on January 3rd, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
In the book, I ship Jo/Laurie so hard (best friends become lovers, yayyy) that I usually don't even read the second half. In the movie, I'm pretty neutral. Really I think I may like the idea of Laurie being in love with Jo FOREVER AND EVER, no matter who they each may "move on" to. Or something. idk. I hate the second half of that book so I basically think that whole part doesn't count. (Also in the second half there is that whole thing where Beth dies. That's the other reason I don't read that part.)

Edited at 2009-01-03 11:55 am (UTC)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: fishscoradh on January 3rd, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
You don't like the fact that Beth dies or you don't like Beth? (Because opinion swings both ways, it's essential to be clear!)

OMG OMG DOES THAT NOT FREAK YOU OUT THOUGH? IT WOULD FREAK ME OUT. Like, 'What do you mean you've thought about me naked?!!!'

ps, I've been dying to ask - how do you know Robot shaves his chest? He could be naturally smoothy.