“Little Women” and the Marmee Problem
The film is only the second adaptation to commit “I am angry nearly every day of my life” to film, according to a reviewer. The film makes a broad point: marriage is a kind of death. Laura Dern’s Marmee responds archly to various idiocies offered by her husband.
Marmee clarifies why her anger might surprise her daughters in the novel. Once you tune into this wavelength, you can’t unhear it. The drama takes shape in a kind of narrative negative space: unspoken, skimmed over. Jessamine Gerwig’s film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” is overly committed to Jo as a transformative feminist hero.
What does Beth give Marmee for Christmas?
Beth gives her mother, whom Beth and her sisters refer to as “Marmee,” handkerchiefs on which Beth has embroidered “Mother,” rather than “M. March” or “M.M.,” because Beth’s sister Meg shares the same initials as Marmee, and Beth wanted only Marmee to use them.
What books did Jo March read?
The March sisters read 16 books.
- John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
- Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield (1766)
- Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
- Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1820)
- Susan Bogert Warner, aka Elizabeth Wetherell’s The Wide Wide World (1852)
- Frances Burney’s Evelina (1778)
What book is Jo reading to Aunt March?
Jo adores Uncle March’s book collection, which she believes compensates for having to read to Aunt March; Beth, the shyest of the March sisters, stays at home, does her housework diligently, and looks after her doll collection, which is mostly damaged in some way; and little Amy attends school and laments her flat nose.
Why do they call her Marmee?
The Alcott (and March) girls, all New Englanders, would have pronounced the u201cru201d as u201cahu201d when referring to their mother, so they called her u201cMahmeeu201d u2014 or u201cMommyu201d! Wineapple mentions the unusual nickname u2014 u201c’Marmee,’ as her daughters called her u201d u2014 but does not discuss its pronunciation.
What did Beth do with the slippers Why?
Explanation: When the clock struck six, Beth swept up the hearth and placed a pair of old slippers on the hearth to keep warm; somehow, the sight of the old shoes cheered the girls, because Mother was on her way, and everyone brightened to welcome her.
What Christmas present did Mrs March asked the girls to give the Hummels?
Mrs. March has gone to see what the poor woman needs, Hannah explains, while Meg prepares a basket containing the small gifts the girls bought for Marmee the night before. Amy has vanished, taking her present, a small bottle of cologne, with her.
Why did Amy marry Laurie?
Laurie ended up with Amy because Alcott decided to make Amy Laurie’s romantic partner; it could’ve been a way for Alcott, who is known for writing scandalous stories, to add a little scandal to this otherwise moral story.
Did Jo ever love Laurie?
Jo March, a tomboyish writer, had a strong bond with Laurie Laurence, the boy next door, but she turned down his marriage proposal and declaration of love, vowing never to marry; however, she later fell for and married Friedrich Bhaer, a much older and gruffer German professor.
Why does Jo cut her hair?
Jo caught typhoid pneumonia while nursing soldiers during the Civil War, and doctors ordered her hair cut off while she was delirious. She was too proud to beg Aunt March for money, so she sold her hair as a heroic gesture.
Is Aunt March Marmee’s sister?
Jo is a paternal aunt by marriage u2013 their father’s sister-in-law u2013 and for a time, she works as Aunt March’s companion, reading to her and caring for her spoiled little dog.
Why did Aunt March Leave Jo the house?
When Aunt March dies, she leaves Jo her home at Plumfield, allowing Jo to open a school; however, the Bhaer of the book takes a passive-aggressive approach, objecting to Jo’s stories on moral grounds and then shaming Jo for writing them by pretending he doesn’t know she’s the author.
How old is Marmee?
Mother March u2013 Marmee u2013 works as a seamstress for the Union Army, while her 16-year-old daughter Meg works as a governess for a wealthy family and her 15-year-old sister Jo works as a companion for a wealthy old relative. Beth, 13, suffers from severe social anxiety and is home-schooled, while 12-year-old Amy attends a modern mean-girl school.