Jo March

Jo March

    Little Women
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in Concord, Massachusetts, in the 1860s with her mother and three sisters. Her father recently left the family to serve in the war against the South. The War Between the States (aka the Civil War) has unsettled the family, leaving Jo and her sisters to neglect that which they used to value. Nevertheless, Jo enjoys the time she spends with her sisters – the caring and unassuming Beth, the beautiful and popular Amy, and the wholesome and dutiful Meg.

Profession... student. Jo desperately wants to accomplish something important before she settles down, something for which she will be remembered for long after dying.

Interests... writing. Every few weeks she shuts herself up in her room, puts on her special writing outfit, and “falls into a vortex” – writing a novel with all her heart and soul. Until it is finished, she cannot find peace.

Relationship Status... single. Finding a significant other is not important to her. Jo doesn't know anything about love or similar nonsense. She has great ambitions that don't involve marriage, and she hates romance, except when in books. Lately, though, her best friend, Laurie, has been suggesting that they become a couple. She tries her best to ignore and discourage him.

Challenge... overcoming the family’s economic trouble that developed after her father left to fight in the Civil War. Her parents always emphasized that money was never the first and only prize to fight for, but Jo has had an understandably hard time adjusting to poverty. Her mother, however, emphasizes that she would prefer to see her daughters be poor men’s wives provided they were happy, beloved, and content – especially if the alternative is them becoming queens without self-respect or peace.

Personality... bright, caring, and full of spirit. Some criticize Jo for being rough, wild, and unladylike. But, that’s also what is attractive about her. For the era, she’s a rebel who is not afraid to challenge the status quo on gender roles.


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