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Can anyone tell me what Jo March wrote about in the book Little Women? I'm doing a mock...

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newnhamm | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 12, 2007 at 2:20 AM via web

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Can anyone tell me what Jo March wrote about in the book Little Women?

I'm doing a mock interview between Adele Ratignolle from The Awakening and Jo March... Adele is asking the questions... I am curious if Jo wrote about oppression of women?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted July 12, 2007 at 5:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Considering that Jo says at the end of the book that “I do think that families are the most beautiful things in all the world!” it would be surprising for her to find female oppression in such domesticity and even more surprising for her to write about it.( Certainly Adele would approve of this statement.) Jo aspires to be a writer of sensational fiction, nothing particularly confrontational: “Eager to find material for stories, and bent on making them original in plot . . . she searched newspapers for accidents, incidents, and crimes” (349).  This certainly does not suggest that she is ready to take on the patriarchy in any sort of way—although we must remember that writing anything was a transgressive act for  women in the 19thC, and so to that extent, by the mere fact that she aspired to be a writer she did make a move toward breaking free of expected gender roles of her time

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 12, 2007 at 6:01 AM (Answer #2)

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Everything about Jo's life speaks of her views about women's roles in society. She lives her life as an independent girl and woman. Marmee's influence on her certainly adds to her belief that she's equal to any man. Marmee tells Meg and Jo "[B]etter be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or unmaidenly girls, running about to have husbands". A tomboy as a girl, Jo's adult decisions are based on her confidence in herself and the knowledge that she doesn't have to rely on a man. Jo defies society's rules regarding a woman's role, her expected behavior, and her relationship with men.

At sixteen, Jo has no desire to marry, finding her life at home with her family to be all she needs. She also loves to write. When the girls perform her plays, Jo always plays the part of the male. Later, after her stories are accepted for publication, she realizes she can make a living from her writing, making her feel pride in her ability to make her own money. Her relationship with Laurie further develops Jo's independence. Their friendship is based on their love for reading and their ability to share their thoughts. Jo doesn't accept his offer of marriage out of fear he won't accept her career as a writer, but she also has no feelings of love for him. When Jo does marry, it's to a man who accepts her as she is.

You can include these events as a basis for questions in your interview. Jo is the woman Adele wishes she could be. Good luck on your interview!

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