And when she puts that letter to Laurie in the mailbox, Jo, like so many queer girls — like so many girls who, for whatever reason, don’t want to live by men’s rules — has a moment of doubt in which she considers the possibility of living a more “normal” life, in the most tolerable way she sees available to her.
“I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man’s soul, put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body,” Alcott once said, according to biographical material that Gerwig references. “I have fallen in love in my life with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man.”
If you are a black girl reading the American canon, you often have to perform a special equation. We do not appear in many of the books deemed classic literature. As Toni Morrison noted after she wrote her own contribution to the canon, “The Bluest Eye,” “that subject — those most vulnerable, most undescribed, not taken seriously little black girls — had never existed seriously in literature. No one had ever written about them except as props.”
So when we as black girls read most books, we have to will ourselves into the bodies on the page, with a selectivity and an internal edit that white readers of the same canon do not necessarily have to exercise.
BETH has changed the name of THE MARCH SISTERS GROUPCHAT to THE MARCH SIBLINGS GROUPCHAT
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