The hour was late. My two sisters sat at the dining room table with me as I munched on a snack. Birdie was braiding Jubilee’s hair while Jubilee read her new (abridged) copy of Little Women. Someday she will read the actual, full-length edition of Little Women and Good Wives complete with the original woodcut illustrations. I’ll see to that! For now, I am just happy to hear her quoting the March sisters and reveling in all of their “larks”. As is typical whenever this book comes up in conversation, my sisters and I began our usual game of comparing each other to Alcott’s characters. This particular night, Jubilee looked at me and said,
“You’re Jo, because you’re the grumpy one.”
I put on a pouty face, pretending to be deeply hurt, while everyone else in the room laughed. But you know what? It’s totally true. I’m Jo. Not just because I’m a writer. I’m Jo because I’m loud-mouthed and emotionally charged. “Grumpy” in other words. I simply do not have the optimistic perspective and ever-sunny disposition of my sisters. I like to think I’m not quite so irritating as the beloved protagonist, and that maybe I’ve learned her lessons already, but the original traits are still there.
While Birdie continued to braid and Jubilee read snippets aloud, we all discussed for the hundredth time “who is who.” We always hate to be Beth even though she’s completely loveable. When someone is Beth we always look worried and say, “Quick! Make plans like the rest of us!” to keep her from dying.
The truth is, we love all of the March sisters because we can really relate to each of them for unique reasons. I relate to Meg’s motherliness. After all, I have an excessive amount of younger siblings and often have to refrain from “being mom” to friends as well. I definitely echo Jo’s desire to be something great, to use story to influence society and to find a man who will support me as Professor Bahr supported his own literary wife. Beth is the one I probably need to become more like, but I can very much sympathize with her resistance to change. Amy is my silly side, the part of me that is drawn to girly, frivolous things. I also have her tendency to critique others.
I think what we (my sisters and I, along with Alcott’s many other fans) love about these characters is the fact that none of them are perfect or even close, but they all try in their own ways to improve themselves. In this way, they are relatable.
As part of this month’s feature, I wanted to do a fun addition to the Peek Into Your Personality theme. My sisters and I have come up with a quiz to help you identify which March sister you most resemble. After all, we don’t all have blunt little sisters willing to tell us that we’re grumpy! Answer each question, noting your answers yourself. At the end, I’ll reveal your identity!
1. Let’s start at the top. How are most likely to wear your hair?
- A. I always try to keep my hair neat and flattering. You never who you might come across.
- B. Up-to-date and stylish!
- C. I haven’t changed my hair in years, but I like it the way it is.
- D. Hair? Who cares? Just put on a hat!
2. What is your taste in suitors?
- A. None of that silly stuff. I just want a reliable man who can support me and love me faithfully.
- B. I want to marry a good man, but I wouldn’t marry a pauper!
- C. I doubt I’ll ever marry, but that’s fine by me.
- D. He has to have a taste for the arts, a passion for life and a desire to support me in my work!
3. You’ve been invited to be a big party, do you…
- A. Stress a little as you choose your outfit, and make sure you arrive on time and in style.
- B. Ask your parents if you can go, and then put on your best behavior to increase the odds of favor.
- C. Party? No thank you. I’d rather be at home with my family any day.
- D. Remember it on the day of and go in what you’re wearing. What do you have to lose?
4. What is your line of work?
- A. Teaching/tutoring/childcare
- B. I’m too busy with school to have a job
- C. I work for my parents!
- D. I’m a personal assistant/receptionist
5. It’s your birthday. What would you love to unwrap?
- A. A designer purse would be a nice surprise!
- B. A new set of paints or something from my Pinterest board!
- C. Something personal or handmade that lets me know you were you thinking of me.
- D. Books!
6. You’re looking to the future. What would you like to see?
- A. Just to be married and to have little children calling me “mama.”
- B. I want to study abroad and improve my skills.
- C. It’s hard to look ahead when I’m so happy where I am!
- D. To go out and make something of myself! Maybe not fame and fortune, but no goals left unachieved!
7. To your dad, you’ll always be…
- A. His little helper. He knows your mom can rely on you.
- B. His pride and joy. Always entertaining and full of life.
- C. Daddy’s girl. When he gets home,you’re never too busy for quality time.
- D. His friend. You’re much more like him than like your mom!
8. It’s a moment of crisis. Do you…
- A. Rise up to meet the challenge! You work well under pressure.
- B. Panic a little. You’re not usually the one to fix the problems.
- C. Try to keep the routine to give life a little consistency for everyone.
- D. Overreact and go to extremes to make things better again.
9. We all learn from our mistakes, you’ve had to learn…
- A. To not care so much about what others think of you.
- B. Earthly treasures are fleeting. There are more important things in life!
- C. People want to get to know you. Don’t be afraid of new friendships.
- D. Home and family are more valuable than adventure and fame.
If you answered mostly…
Maybe you’re the eldest in a family that really relies on you, or maybe you just have a big-sister personality. You enjoy looking nice and keeping up your good reputation, but you know that family is more important than fans. Your desire is for a family of your own someday!
Amy definitely has a baby-of-the-family personality! If you’re like Amy, you probably have excellent taste and an eye for the aesthetic. You may care a bit too much about what’s “in”, but you also know the value of making due with what’s available. Your education is important to you. Pursue it passionately!
Ah, lucky you. You are the easiest to love! Always putting others first, you are a true friend to your small circle. You are definitely an introvert, preferring to spend time with your family and close friends rather than in society at large. Your hobbies and your home keep you busy and satisfied and your family doesn’t know what they’d do without you!
Oh, Jo. You’re a firecracker! Never caring much about what others thought, you were born to blaze a trail. You know what you’re good at and what you love to do, so you’ll go beyond your comfort zone to reach your goals. You’re not always easy to get along with–after all, you always speak your mind! But like everything else you do, you love fervently and courageously. Your friends and family appreciate that about you.