This post was inspired by WordPress’ Daily Prompt ‘It Builds Character’.
I have already accidentally deleted this entire post twice because of strange things that the new interface does. I am unimpressed to say the least. So I will now write this in Word and copy paste 🙂
When I think back on characters that have had an effect on me, there is one in particular which stands out as being integral to the person I have become.
When I was young (prepubescent young), I was already aware that I was different from most of the other girls in the class. Whilst they were obsessed with ‘The Baby Sitters Club’ and ‘Sweet Valley High’ (both of which I read and enjoyed, but mainly they just gave me numbers for the read-a-thon each year) I was off reading ‘Matilda’ and authors like R.L Stine (not the Goosebumps books, the advanced stuff) and Tamora Pierce. I had great access to YA novels because my Mum was a Teacher Librarian at a High School.
Other girls my age wanted to play makeovers and weddings and I wanted to ride bikes and run through the bush. The girls I knew made games of imagining their weddings to a member of the Backstreet Boys or Hanson whilst I danced about the house singing to the score of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.
Jo March from ‘Little Women’ was a trailblazer, in a time where it wasn’t proper for women to run through the woods, traipse about through brooks without shoes, yell out to or play with boys or write epic novels she did it all and everyone who mattered accepted her and loved her for who she was. Everything about this girl/woman appealed to me. It would be fair to say that as a young girl my biggest dream was to grow up to be Jo March. She was a hero to me. To this day she remains one of my favourite literary characters. In fact Jo March is probably the reason I have the guts to write online.
Jo also appealed to me because of her love of the written word and her strength of character and independence. You have probably noticed from my reviews of my books for 52 Books in 52 Weeks that I have a thing for strong female characters that shuck the norm and stereotypes. I still believe that this love of certain qualities in this character made me try to develop those characteristics in myself. As soon as I was old enough to work (14) I got an after school job. This made me feel amazing because I didn’t have to ask my mother to buy me things like deodorant and tampons (you have no idea how amazing it was as a 14 year old to not rely on someone else for your tampon stash!), this was my first step to real independence and I liked it. I saved my money from my job and when I graduated I paid my own way on a holiday with my friends, that is a pretty huge thing for an 18 year old to be able to do. Then when I was 19 I moved interstate to the desert, yup I moved to Ayers Rock, it was arid, hot, confronting and I was pretty innocent at the time (I hardened up quick though – read more about that here), I had no safety net there. I knew no one. It was the bravest and most awesome thing I think I have done. It was an amazing experience and I am so glad I did it to this day!
I believe I have a lot to thank Jo March for. I have previously written about my love of both the book and movie and after reading back over this post I realise how big an impact my love of this character has had on me. As far as role models go I am pretty proud that she has been and continues to be mine.
21 Comments | tags: About me, Daily prompt, Jo March, Little Women, Relationships | posted in 52B52W, Book vs. Movie, Books, everyday hero, Love to read, Movies, Reviews, wonder woman, Writing
# SPOILER WARNING!!! I know I don’t normally do this, but in this case I will discuss much of the plot in both the book and movie ‘Little Women’.
This is a breakthrough 52 Books in 52 Weeks post and will count as number 14. I wanted to do a special post on this book and its movie adaption, but it will still count towards my count 🙂
So those that have been following me for awhile would know well my love of the book Little Women. In fact it is one of my favourite books and definitely one of my favourite movie adaptions. I realised that I had not read it in many years and so when I saw it at work I grabbed it and once again lost myself in this beautful story. It is one of the few books I have cried in and I am not ashamed to admit that I still welled up, not so much in the sad parts, moreso in the extremely joyous parts like the return of their father after he fell ill in the war. Interestingly I never noticed before that in the book they say he fell ill, but I am pretty sure that in the movie he was injured – doesn’t really matter. The coming home was beautiful and joyous and I welled up… I totally blame the pre-baby pills hahaha.
I have pondered for awhile about doing some book vs. movie posts and so I guess this will become my first 🙂 First of all as I have stated previously I loved both the book and the movie (1994 version), there was a lot cut out of the book (let’s face it, it is pretty long) and mushed together in the movie, but I think it works. So let’s talk about differences.
- In the book both the Father and Mr. Lawrence have a much larger role in the plot. Mr. Lawrence certainly has a closer relationship with the family in the book. In the movie I didn’t really notice Mr. Lawrence so much except to wish I had a Mr. Lawrence to give me an awesome piano (well that was when I first watched it… I was pretty young. Later on I just wished for Laurie 🙂 ). Looking at it now I don’t think this is a terrible thing, yes he was a great character in the book, but I also felt that the movie was more centred on being entirely about the girl’s relationships with each other and their experiences. I think sacrificing the film time of those characters for the sake of this is worth it.
- Where was Aunt Carroll in the movie? She doesn’t exist in the movie. To be honest I totally get this, she is basically a non character in the book (harsh I know, but true), basically her entire reason for being in the book was to be a catalyst for Amy to go to Europe. By taking her out and putting Aunt March in this role they made her a more important part of the girls lives which I think made the willing of Plumfield to Jo more believable.
- I loved how Laurie was portrayed in the movie, I think it was done so well and to me stayed true to the character in the book. I think this character developed beautifully throughout the book. In the book the relationship development between he and Amy makes a lot more sense than in the movie. To be honest in the movie I didn’t totally buy that he loved her at first, I thought it was kinda like he married her and the love grew later.
OMG Princess Daisy is going to make out with Batman – somebody call Luigi!!!
- I love that the book goes on to years later so you see what happened with them, how their journey is going and whether they got their castles in the sky. This was lacking in the movie, but it ended in true Hollywood fashion with two attractive people making out in the rain, so I suppose that is cool too 🙂
- The death of Beth was handled so lovingly in both the book and movie, I can’t fault it and don’t want to look for faults in it.
- I do wish Beth’s character had been a little more fleshed out in the movie than it was. She was so beautifully and perfectly depicted in the book. Meg in the movie was interesting too, gone were the unattractive character traits like spending beyond her husbands means and lusting after a rich lifestyle and how she deals with those faults of character. Jo’s character was pretty much like she is in the book, wild, wooly and abrasive on the outside – warm, tender and loving on the inside 🙂
- This film combined with ‘Interview with the Vampire’ began my love for Kirsten Dunst 🙂
I think the thing that made the movie adaption so great for me was that the cast was just wonderful, seriously that casting director needed a raise. Not only were they great in their own roles, but their interactions with other members of the cast were poignant, purposeful and moving.
Don’t expect me to always provide such glowing reviews, but every now and then you might get one. Obviously this review is completely biased by my childhood love of this movie which undoubtedly has lots to do with the fact I grew up with two rough and tumble brothers and desperately wanted a sister hahaha.
What is your fave book to film adaptation?
23 Comments | tags: Christian Bale, Claire Danes, Kirsten Dunst, Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, Susan Sarandon, Winona Rider | posted in 52 Books in 52 Weeks, 52B52W, Book vs. Movie