Becoming Jo March

Abigail Crane


When I was a girl, I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. The beauty of this book is that the reader can see pieces of herself in every March sister, and I was no exception. Mostly, I sought flattering comparisons: Amy’s creativity, Beth’s selflessness, Meg’s nurturing spirit, Jo’s ambition. But I carry no shortage of ineptitudes, particularly with Jo’s rashness. All too often I found myself biting my tongue, and like Jo, ending up receiving a good scolding from my own Marmee. Despite these imperfections, Jo became a kindred spirit of mine. Her ambition and love of writing awoke something in me. I, too, became a writer after reading this book. I begged my mom to purchase journals for me, and if I was good and did my chores and went to Sunday school, she would laminate and bind the pages together. I developed my own series of stories, each volume detailing coming-of-age experiences, like fighting with siblings, or a good friend moving across the country. The experiences in those stories were my experiences, and through this fictional world I was able to better understand my own; in this way, I sought to become Jo March.

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