Marmee March

Marmee March

    Little Women

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... contentedly, in Concord, Massachusetts with her four daughters. Margaret March—who’s affectionately called “Marmee” by her family—must run her household alone while her husband is away serving the Union Army in the Civil War.

Profession... mother and charitable volunteer. Marmee is a natural caretaker who seeks to help everyone around her, whether that’s her own children, Union soldiers, or a local family living in poverty.

Interests... sewing and playing with her beloved daughters.

Relationship Status... happily married. Patient, spiritual Robert March is the perfect balance for Marmee’s own lively temperament. Having him in danger so far away is a huge hardship for her, however, Marmee tries not to let her daughters see her struggles.

Challenge... raising four little women. Marmee wants her daughters to grow up into caring, selfless, moral adults. That means she must tailor her lessons to reach romantic Meg, tempestuous Jo, shy Beth, and ambitious Amy. It’s no small task, but Marmee handles it with endless grace. Rather than just follow social conventions, Marmee maintains her own convictions too. In a time when women are encouraged to marry for money, Marmee tells her daughters, “I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”

Personality... patient, nurturing, and full of internal strength. Though Marmee makes being the perfect mother look easy, that’s not always how she feels on the inside. In fact, as Marmee tells her hotheaded daughter Jo, “I am angry nearly every day of my life.” But she’s learned to master her frustrations and find productive ways to change the world for the better, both inside her family home and in the wider world too. Marmee is self-sacrificing, patient, and empathetic, but she also has a warm sense of humor. Above all, Marmee is highly principled and always strives to do the right thing, even when it’s not the easiest or most comfortable option.


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