Thursday, February 9, 2012

Classy Little Women

I received a new Kindle from a friend's family for Christmas. Receiving it was a complete surprise, and they are so generous to think of and gift it to me. (Turns out that my parents had also purchased one for me, so my dad made a mad dash on Christmas Eve to find an alternative gift. I am thankful for thoughtful and generous people in my life!) I immediately starting perusing the free books and downloaded many classics. Among them: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Disclaimer: I thought this would be some sort of intellectual and inspiring rambling on character development and relevance. However, it literally turned out to be my appreciation for good writing.

What I appreciate about Little Women is that the girls are so classy. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy all have their strengths and weaknesses. As a young woman myself, I admired different character traits about each girl. Meg is such a responsible girly-girl. Jo is bold and honest. Beth is a tender spirit and talented musician. And Amy. Oh, Amy is the artist of the family who also fights the same battle that all girls do in being popular and pretty.

All of the girls have such a high respect for their mother, Marmie. Marmie does not let foul behavior go unpunished, but she desires fair punishment. She allows her daughters to explore their imaginations and does not attempt to live vicariously through them. She teaches them tenderness and faithfulness. When she speaks to them, she treats them with maturity. She calls them to a higher standard than the world and constantly reminds them of their salvation through faith. She lives sacrificially and calls her little women to do the same.

And then there's the neighbor boy, Laurie. Move over, Mr. Darcy. Laurie has stolen this girls' heart! Younger than Meg but older than Jo, he fits right in with the March sisters as the brother they never had. He complies with their theatrical adventures and child's play. He attends high class social events to protect the girls from immodesty. Eventually, Jo rejects his profession of love toward her. Not to worry: Laurie finds Amy in Europe while on sabbatical, and the two are betrothed and eventually wed.

My favorite piece from the Broadway score is from the the song, Astonishing. Jo is upset about Laurie's profession of love toward her, upset at the prospect of breaking up the four sisters as they were. Any normal human can relate to her words. It completely encompasses her personality and heart's desires:

I thought home was all I'd ever want
My attic all I'd ever need.
Now nothing feels the way it was before
And I don't know how to proceed.
I only know I'm meant for something more
I've got to know if I can be
Astonishing

There's a life
That I am meant to lead
A life like nothing I have known
I can feel it
And it's far from here
I've got to find it on my own

Even now I feel it's heat upon my skin.
A life of passion that pulls me from within,
A life that I am making to begin.
There must be somewhere I can be
Astonishing
Astonishing

Here I go
And there's no turning back
My great adventure has begun
I may be small
But I've got giant plans
To shine as greatly as the sun

I will blaze until I find my time and place
I will be fearless,
Surrendering modesty and grace
I will not disapear without a trace
I'll shout and start a riot
Be anything but quiet
Christopher Columbus
I'll be astonishing
Astonishing
Astonishing at last!

Favorite quote from the novel:
"Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty."

1 comment:

Lacy Szuwalski said...

That piece is AMAZING! I have no doubt you will be astonishing wherever you go!

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