It just seemed like he and Jo were so … so … RIGHT for each other … When I first read the book, I was 10 years old, 11* – and oh my GOD how I resented Jo falling for the stupid tender-eyed German professor with his dumb-ass poetry and his boring umbrella. And I just hated the thought of Laurie – wild, sensitive Laurie – being with Amy – who, even though she learned her lesson with the stolen apples and getting whipped at school – and even though I did cry a tear or two during the chapter when she fell through the ice — still and all: Amy wasn’t Jo!! It was Jo and Laurie who needed to hook up!!!!
I suppose that was quite an adolescent attitude. Maybe Jo and Laurie were too alike. Maybe Laurie needed a conventional woman, a housewife type – and he knew it. I also know the story of how Louisa May Alcott felt pressured by her publisher to “marry Jo off”. She wanted Jo to remain a bachelor – like herself.
Which is why, I believe, stupid teary-eyed German dumb-bum annoyed me so much as a kid.
Get outta here, Kraut, you’re an afterthought!! I also despised the illustrations of the German in the copy of the book I had. He had a full flowing beard – coming down over his chest. Words cannot express how much this disgusted me. I almost had to stop reading the book.
I love the scene when Jo and Laurie meet up at the ball – and Jo is so embarrassed about her burnt dress that she hides in the hall so no one will see the burn marks on the back of the skirt. And she and Laurie end up talking, and then dancing – by themselves – out in the big empty hallway.
Come on. Romantic.
I am not at ALL wacky about Laurie’s name, and I never was. Not too keen on the androgyny of it. Maybe that was the point. Dont’ know. But Laurie’s personality was appealing enough to me to overcome these difficulties.
I will go to my grave wondering: But … but … what would it have been like if Jo and Laurie had just … given it a shot???
But then again. I’m a romantic. A romantic who has lost much. A romantic who has been severely disciplined by the universe just for being a romantic. So I stand on the sidelines. And I wonder about the alternate paths of fictional characters.
Either Jo and Laurie should have hooked up – or Jo should have stayed single.
German crumb-bum doesn’t work. For me. It didn’t work for me when I was 10 and it doesn’t work now. Put your umbrella away, dude. It’s not wanted here.
* weird memory: However old I was when I first read this book – I remember it was the book where I first really understood the concept of contractions. Maybe I had learned them in school – no idea – but Meg has a line in the first chapter where she says, “But I’m afraid I don’t!” And I was reading it out loud – maybe to my mom – and I said the word “don’t” like “dahn” – almost as though it were in the word “orthoDONtist”. I didn’t understand what I was saying. And I was corrected by my mom – “No – that’s ‘don’t’ – which actually means ‘do not’.” And I totally remember that moment of LIGHT breaking thru. Ohhhhh! “Don’t” means “do NOT’ – wow – cool!!!!