As a teen, I saw myself in Jo - the ambitious young writer who chafes against traditional restrictions.
By
Sarah Malik

14 Aug 2019 - 12:03 PM  UPDATED 14 Aug 2019 - 3:53 PM

For all the readers who grew up in the bosom of the Alcott family, there was only one question - were you responsible Meg, smart tomboy Jo, sweet Beth or pretty Amy?

The childhood magic of sinking into Little Women can now be relived with the new trailer for director Greta Gerwig's interpretation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel dropping today, and melting the hearts of female readers everywhere.

Gerwig leads a powerful all-female line-up, which is a fitting tribute to the trailblazing 1868 novel tracing the coming age of four teen sisters as they struggle to find independence and autonomy while living in the shadow of the American civil war and in genteel poverty.  

The female cast includes Emma Watson as Meg, Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, Florence Pugh as Amy, Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as the tough rich Aunt March. 

As a teen, I remember feeling so lucky to have two sisters and saw myself in Jo - the ambitious young writer who chafes against traditional restrictions and is courted by the shy, sweet Laurie who (spoiler) loves but doesn't understand her. Laurie takes her rejection with a heartbreaking grace (there needs to be a Laurie appreciation society).

There's been many adaptations of the novel, including the 1994 version starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale as well as the 2017 BBC adaptation

A generation of female writers were influenced by Alcott, who was also a passionate abolitionist and feminist including Simone De Beauvoir, Jhumpa Lahiri, Elena Ferrante and Geraldine Brooks. Brooks, an Australian novelist wrote the Pulitzer prize winning March - retelling the family's story from the perspective of the Alcott's absent father who was fighting in the civil war.   

For period drama fans it was possibly the most exciting event since Colin Firth graced us in the lake scene in BBC's 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. 

American writer Rachel Syme tweeted passionately that the release was like her personal 'superbowl'.  

"I am a girl who grew up going to the library instead of having friends. this is my superbowl ok," Syme tweeted. 

 

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