I read “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott for the first time in fifth grade. I was ten years old, and I read all 700 pages of drama in a quick time. Since that first encounter I have read the book six times. It is one of my top five favorite books of all time.
As a child I wanted to grow up to be Jo. When I started dating, I hoped I tackled the adventure with the same grace and panic as Meg. I hoped to make the type of positive contributions to my friends lives as Beth did. I wanted to be as ambitious as Amy. These girls were some of my earliest role models, because they weren’t perfect. They had weaknesses and strengths like real people.
But, I just finished re-reading the book because I couldn’t bear to see the new movie adaptation without refreshing my reading of the book.
Of course I loved the book on the sixth read as much as I loved it on all the previous reads. Jo is still my favorite sister and I still want to be her when I ‘grow up’. I noticed so much more of the overt, didactic (call it what you want) teaching that the blessings in life of family, love, health and friends are superior to material wealth. I have also read “Pilgrims Progress” at this point in my life, something that wasn’t true the last time I read “Little Women” so I understood more of those references this time around.
In fact, this book is packed with literary references to Milton, Johnson, Shakesppear. Honestly, “Little Women” is a great book for bookworms. The references are amazing, especially if you are well versed in renaissance literature.
But was the movie going to live up to the book?
I think they got the characters mostly correct. The acting was in line with the characters in the book. It looks beautiful. The cinematography deserves an award because all the colors and angles and everything that goes into cinematography that I don’t understand looked amazing.
The structure of flipping between “present” and past surprised me! It was a good move, though. If Little Women were to be published today it would probably need to have the same structure. Chronology is so out.
Unfortunately, some of my favorite scenes were left out of the movie. So disappointing! Castles in the Cloud is my favorite aspect of the book and it was left out of the movie. I think the castles in the cloud are essential to understanding character motivation throughout the rest of the novel. My favorite quotes from this scene of the book are:
I also love the chapter of the book titled “Camp Laurence”. While this scene was sort of shown in the movie, it was all wrong. Read the book, please. Camp Laurence is an amazing section that I love and wish would have been accurately depicted.
Overall, I hope Little Women doesn’t win the best adapted screenplay at the Oscars. Give it best actress, but the book is still better.
xx Keep Reading Bookworms