Thursday, October 28, 2010

Character Connection (4): Amy March

Character Connection is hosted by Jen @ The Introverted Reader.

I know that it is sadly disappointing that I am not doing a Halloween or horror themed CC post, but Little Women has always been one of my all time favorite stories, and so I've decided to pass up the horror this time around. I remember reading it when I was younger and falling in love with the March family, and with Laurie and Mr. Laurence and with Prof. Bhaer and John Brooke. I love the story and the trials they face and the way that they all stick together and come through them. It's such a beautiful, feel good story that will always be a comfort read for me.

Most people I've talked to choose either Jo or Beth as their favorite character. Jo, because she is lively and unruly and spirited and goes against the grain that says women must exist within their determined gender-roles. She has her dreams and she follows them, and damn the consequences. Beth, because she is just so wholly and completely, angelically good that you can't help but love her. She is the epitome of what anyone who aspires to be good would be if they could. (Wow - that totally rhymed.)

But my favorite character is Amy. She is the baby, theone that we get to watch become the woman she will be. In the beginning of the story, she's just a little, embarrassingly spoiled, girl who is concerned only with her appearance, her art and her social status. She gets exactly what she wants by wheedling and manipulation. She's rotten and selfish and generally intolerable in the first half of the book. But as the book progresses, she eventually grows out of those traits and learns to behave in a more mature and compassionate manner, and she learns to see things from a different perspective than just her own. In other words, she becomes a woman.

I love this turnaround in her, and it makes me proud of her that she took the initiative to make the change to her life, and be a better person than the one that she would have been otherwise. It's hard to reconcile those kinds of life-changes in a character that was so completely selfish and unlikeable previously, but in Amy, I don't find it hard at all. The circumstances in her life have forced her to mature and become independent when she otherwise would have floated along as the "baby" of the family. She learns to realize that the things that she thought were of the utmost importance when she was a child (her appearance and social status) are not important at all, and that friendship and love matter so much more.

Amy is an awesome character, and she shows that we can all be decent and compassionate people, no matter how horrid we are as a kid!

1 comment:

  1. I keep saying it, but one day I will finish this book. I now own a raggedy used copy, so at least I'm making progress in that direction!