As part of my current OU module, I’m studying Children’s Literature. This has meant slogging my way though Louisa M. Alcott’s supposedly generation defining work ‘Little Women’ (and ‘Good Wives’). I didn’t dislike the first part as I thought I was going to, found it twee and rather patronising but not soul destroying… unlike the second part, which I’ve yet to finish.
As I did with the Malory Towers & Famous Fives series’s, here’s a ‘What happened next?’ with tongue firmly in cheek 😛
Jo – After years of self-denial and borderline mental cruelty, Jo took to drink and embarked on an affair with a woman considerably older than her. Her husband found them and consigned her to a mental asylum where she currently resides. While under the ‘care’ of the asylum she started writing heartfelt and rather Sapphic poetry which were smuggled out and published gaining a following in the ‘hidden communities’.
Meg – After getting tired of John’s ‘corrections’ and having to find excuses to explain her bruises, she took the children and left. Her father took John’s side suggesting that if she wasn’t such a bad wife then perhaps John would not have had to ‘correct’ her so often. To escape John, Meg travelled to New York where she found work tutoring in a large household. Unfortunately her father gave John her addresses and Meg is now awaiting trial for his murder.
Laurie – Unable to resist the temptations of the world, lost all his money gambling and started to steal from his company to hide his debts and provide for his wife. His indiscretions were discovered by his business partner but everything was covered up by his grandfather. Is a known philanderer and has at least three mistresses.
Amy – Forced to endure the gossip and stares of her society as her husband’s business was well-known to all. She is often excluded from society and ignored by her friends leaving her to endure Laurie’s disgraces alone. Often sits alone and thinks about her life. Talked to her mother about leaving Laurie and returning to painting but in the end could not bear this final blow to her dreams of good society company.
Marmee – Angry with her husband over his decision to give John Meg’s new address she finally spoke up for herself and told him that running away to war, leaving her alone to raise his daughters knowing that his death would have meant their destitution, is not the thing a real man and father would have done. For the sake of public image, she maintains a façade of marriage but lives a very separate life to her husband.