So today I get to have a chat with a favourite character from fiction.
Have you guessed from the title who my character is? I recently asked the same question of an acquaintance. He didn’t know who I meant, and I died a little inside.
I think there may have been some slightly unhinged guff about how I was now my own ghost, and what kind of person didn’t know? In my defense, I was crazed after four hours of exams and there was caffeine in my bloodstream.
My character was Jo March, the literary tomboy of Little Men and Little Women. I relate to her because in Little Women she does her own thing. I liked her better than shy Beth, prissy Amy or Meg, who I thought was a tad annoying. Casting my mind back, I think I found her annoying because of her aspiration to things she couldn’t afford. If you’ve read it you’ll know the scene where she gets really dolled up and looks like someone totally different. Laurie tells her he liked her better before. At the same time, I sort of get the appeal of being someone else for a night.
Anyway, back to Jo. Once I read her castle in the air, I loved it. It’s just the kind of thing I’d like for myself: lots of books and writing equipment, though no horses. I’m not fussed on horses. Just books. I have books that I’ve worn down to the point of replacement after ten years. I bet she could relate.
Talking to her, I’d like to know if she ever regretted turning down Laurie. I’d wonder what she liked in the professor and how she came by inspiration for the stories and worlds she created. Because over the past few readings I’ve found myself tearing up when she rejects Laurie, and I’d like to know if she ever thought about when they got older.
Think about it: he marries Amy. They have a kid. Jo marries the professor and raises boys in a semi-boarding school situation. I actually began my Louisa May Alcott kick with Little Men, preferring it over girly stuff. Then I realised what I was missing, and bored of reading the same thing one day, I flipped the book over. Over the past few years, as I’ve got older, I developed my own opinions about these two end pairings, and I’ve come to wonder if they weren’t just settling. Then again, I’m not speaking from experience, but I have read something about how great friendships are the basis for a great romance. Seems logical to me, and I can imagine it happening.
Really Jo, the potential was there.