Little Women Has Big Impact

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘20
EE News/Science/Tech Editor

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is a classic childhood novel that I read and grew to absolutely adore. I admired the strong female lead characters, the close bonds that the sisters shared, and the heartfelt messages threaded throughout the plot. It also reminded me of the antics that I engaged in with my own sister, so I was captivated by the story from the first page.

When I found that they were adapting the book into a screenplay, I was incredibly excited. The movies are never exactly like the books, so I was interested to see how the director, Greta Gerwig, chose to adapt the story.

After viewing the movie, I have to say, I was impressed. I loved the casting, and especially the choice of actresses. Saorise Ronan brilliantly captured the fiery spirit of Jo March, and her desire to stand out amongst a crowd. Emma Watson was the perfect choice for Meg March, capturing her mild temperament, and her desire to quietly help those around her without praise.

I loved seeing many of the iconic scenes that I had read about on the big screen. From the family gathered around the fire to read a letter from their father at Christmastime, to Amy falling through the ice, all of the integral parts of the story were expertly directed and executed onto the screen.

Senior Christopher Tyburski said, “I enjoyed the movie a lot. It was well written and the dialogue really drew you into the scenes. You felt invested in the characters and were upset when they failed and happy when they succeeded.”

However, there were a few elements of the movie that were very different from the book. For example, the movie jumps around in time, a lot. It left some viewers, especially if they were not familiar with the book, confused. The plot of the book progresses linearly, and in a more orderly fashion.

Secondly, the relationship Jo has with her editor, and future partner, Mr. Bhaer, is portrayed much differently in the movie than it was in the book. In the movie, Jo becomes visibly angry and raises her voice at Mr. Bhaer when he admitted to not liking her writing. However, in the book, she is much more amicable and values their relationship to a higher degree.

Many viewers embraced the changes. “The plot twists were fantastic and heart wrenching. All in all, I thought it was a very well done movie.” said senior Piper Glass.

The movie was also laced with a large amount of female empowerment, reflecting today’s modern day feminist movement. In the book, Jo and her husband open a school for “young lads”, however, in the movie, the school was specifically aiming to educate young girls.
Overall, I loved the film. I thought that the characters were expertly portrayed, the essential elements were executed with detail, and the subtle changes were necessary, and even enhanced the story.

While still a film reflecting a beloved story written in 1868, it managed to capture a contemporary stance and bring awareness to some of the pertinent issues of today.

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