Everyone had their heroes from stories when they were growing up. Who they’d love to be like, what they wanted to do with their lives. I was no exception when I was younger.
While I read a lot of books when I was younger, I didn’t have a lot of literary heroes I wanted to be like. There were only a handful. And oddly enough, they all came from the same book.
The March Family. How I loved this story when I was young. Strangely enough, I never actually read the original story until I was closer to college age. I’d had a modified version of it when younger, and fell in love with the girls from this story that way. The movie that still comes from came out in 1994, and I was fresh into my highschool years at that point. It became a movie I watched more times than I care to admit. I truly love everything about this story. There was something about all of these women I wanted to emulate.
She was such a strong woman! She loved her children, and would have done anything for them, while at the same time, she didn’t allow any flack or nonsense from them. The girls loved and respected her for the way she treated them, and truly loved her in return. I came to identify her as the mother that almost everyone wishes they could have had.
The oldest of the girls, I identified with her because I was an oldest child, with lots of younger siblings. She looked after her sisters, and cared for them, almost in the same fashion that a mother would. I think that’s something that’s almost comes natural to us (I was no different with my younger sisters). Meg had to be the responsible one, and as much as I might not have wanted to, there were lots of times I had to be the responsible one as well
I identified with Jo the most. Tom-boy, reader, writer, all-around adventurer. She didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do (if she could help it). She ached to write her stories, often-times writing late into the night to do so. I can’t tell you how often that is me. She ached for things to change, yet hurt when they did so. That seems like me in a nut-shell. Of all the women in this story, Jo is the one I love the most.
I don’t know how many people would actually say they’d like to be like Beth, for if you know the story, you know what ultimately ends up happening to her. I actually never wanted to be like her when I was younger, but as I’ve gotten older, and as more and more of my friends and family move on to things that I’ve yet to try and/or do, I often find myself gravitating towards her. She loved home, loved being there, loved spending time with her family and sisters, and doing things together with them. She never liked things to change, but knew that they had to. It’s been a long time since I read the book, but I have to imagine that when her sisters found themselves leaving or doing new things, falling in love, finding their own adventures, she probably felt left behind. Like her, I’ve come to find myself often wishing for the things of my childhood again, wishing with an ache I didn’t realize was possible. And I’ve struggled long and hard with feeling like I’ve been left behind from SO many things. As time has worn on, outside of Jo March, Beth is the one I’ve come to identify with the most.
Amy was the one I felt I identified with the least. She always seemed a little stuck up and snooty to me. But she had a creative side, and longed to be an artist. I can’t draw things as she did, but I am creative, and I remember dreaming and wishing I could have even an ounce of her talent.
I still love this story so much. I have read the book countless times since acquiring it in college, not to mention make it a habit of watching the 1994 movie at least once a year (mostly at Christmas time). I own the soundtrack, and I think I listen to it at least once a week, if not more. It’s one of my favorite soundtracks to write to. (Truly, the music is breath-taking. Take a listen for yourself. Thomas Newman is a modern day genius!)
Who are your literary heroes?
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