Louis May Alcott
first published 1868
***WARNING: I will be discussing why some people consider this a freezer book.***
So going into my re-read of this classic, I only remembered two things from my first experience (and I can’t even remember when that first experience was): Beth dies, and Jo marries the wrong man. At least that was my childish recollection of things.
Boy, things sure can change when you re-read things as an adult.
My thoughts after the re-read have been revised to something like this:
- Why did it take so long for Beth to die?? Pardon the expression, but I felt she needed to either shit, or get off of the pot. In other words, choose to live, or die already, you wishy-washy spineless little miss. Perhaps it was because I knew it was coming, or perhaps it was because I didn’t like her this go-around, but I was relieved to finally hit the Valley of the Shadows chapter. No need for the freezer for me! In fact, I might have uttered a little yippee.
- Marmee. Holy hell lady, you need to shove a sock in it. I soon got tired of all of her Marmee-isms. I have a fairly clean house, but I’m sure that paragon of cleanliness would just die of apoplexy should she see it. Along with me sitting around reading instead of cleaning. Or that Hamburger is often left to find his own dinner (something that he is most capable of) should I not feel like cooking dinner. Sorry Marmee, but I am all about the downtime.
- Also, you gave away your daughters’ breakfast to the poor? That’s nice, but they were hungry, too! I could so call CWS on you, bitch
- I was actually glad that Jo didn’t marry Laurie (aka the mopey little shit). I actually like Amy and Laurie as a couple, even if I was a little worried for Amy as the rebound girl. And then I was a little worried for their little girl. You know, with a name like Beth. Do you want the poor child to be a sickly little girl that only wants to die?!?
- It’s a good thing this was written before Teddy Bears hit the market, because Jo and Professor Bhaer named their child Teddy. That’s right. Teddy Bhaer. Swear to god, that was the funniest thing in the whole book, and it wasn’t even menat to be.
- Mr. March is so forgettable I was actually surprised to see that he was even in the book!
And okay, I know I’m being particularly harsh and judging this book on by my modern standards, but the focus on being all motherly and housewifey made me cringe. Often and frequently. And as I’m sure you guessed, I found it overly preachy. With the emphasis on being a home-maker and wanting to die, I’m not really sure why this book is still around. I’m tempted to say it was the Twilight of the time, only you know…better written.
Go ahead…string me up for bashing such a beloved book.