Sunday, September 13, 2009

Little Women - Jo is like me

I am reading the Noodle Little Women. Why not, I thought to myself, he might enjoy it.

I can say he is. He is identifying strongly with Jo, just as much as bookish girls do, and he is loving the way Meg dresses herself up and laughs at Amy's efforts to use the fifty cent words. It is most gratifying. He is already asking if there are any sequels.

The Noodle is reading the Little House books to himself. I've been a bit reluctant to give them to him, because I have issues with many of the political attitudes. I seem to remember some great essays on the topic in The Horn Book magazine, but I don't have electronic access to it anymore. Francis Spofford also has a damn good chat in The Child that Books Built. It isn't just the racism of Ma's attitude to 'Indians' or the assumption of progress in the pioneers march across America, it's the moral narrowness and the emphasis on independence rather than collective achievement.

Better than I'd hoped, though, a lot of the attitudes have brought on some great conversations about attitudes from the past and how things change.

The Noodle also wishes to know why Jo can't just wear trousers if she wants to. Good question.


ThirdCat said...

good article in one of the August New Yorker's about the little house books and the Ingalls and the Wilders and the Ingalls Wilders

actually, I always wanted to be Beth

locksmith training said...

I would have to agree, I almost think that Jo is the center of this book and perhaps a reflection of the life of someone we have met in our lives before.