Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Little Women Time

Almost every year around this time, I watch Little Women. It's my birthmas movie. The thing is, it has so many nice Christmas themes so it's perfect for this time of year, plus, it's about an all girl family (which reminds me of mine) and is based around one of my all time favourite books. This year, in addition to reading Louisa May Alcott's biography, I also reread Little Women (picked up at the same bookstore at the same time in October). May I just say how thoroughly I enjoyed rereading it this week? Even though I didn't realize that I'd only bought Little Women and not Little Women and Good Wives... I was already planning on tracking down a copy of Little Men (which is much more applicable to my current life), and now will diligently add Good Wives to the list.

Anyway, due to the aforementioned cold (see earlier post), I spent today resting and finishing up Little Women in between playing legos and letting the dog in and out for potty breaks (I swear, he pees more than I do--and I'm pregnant!) and then at lunch, I decided to make Little Man watch the movie with me (he's too young to over rule me right now--it's great). We made it to Sally Moffat's ball and then I finished the rest of the movie this evening after putting teething child in bed (he tried to throw a fit about not being allowed to sleep on the couch with the Christmas tree...seriously). It was fascinating reading the book and watching the movie back to back. I don't think I've ever done that. In fact, confession, I'm not completely positive that I've ever read the unabridged version of Little Women because, prior to this experience, the only copy I'd had was the battered old one we had growing up, and I'm pretty sure not everything was in there. Then again, I have pregnancy brain and could just be forgetting.

Regardless, it was fascinating picking up on a lot of changes that were made by Hollywood (I promise I didn't plan to turn this week into a movie bashing blog week--reading two books and watching their respective movies back to back was not something I did on purpose). For one, the movie completely obliterated the Pilgrim's Progress theme that is so central to the book, which wipes out the moral heart of the story. Secondly, they almost completely rewrote the characters of Mr Laurence and John Brooke, making them less sympathetic characters. I have to assume that this occurred solely due to the current trend seen in modern media of running down the male characters in order to draw a sharper contrast against the liberated and high-minded females. I'm not a huge fan.  And yes, I say this as somewhat of a feminist.

The last thing I want to say is that this was definitely the first time reading the book as a military wife and mom and may have been my first time watching the movie since then as well. I'm not sure I managed to fit it into my packed holiday schedule the last two years (having babies does that to you). I was surprised by how applicable the book was to me as a military spouse. I never really thought of Little Women as a war novel, but it is. It chronicles the home front during the Civil War during what we would term as a deployment (they didn't really have deployments back then--it was kind of an all or nothing deal--and we think we have it bad). Anyway, it gave me a whole new emotional connection to both the book and the movie, and before anyone makes any cracks about me being pregnant and emotionally whacked out (which is true), there were no tears shed during the reading or the watching, but there was a sizable lump in my throat. And I suppose that's okay.

No comments:

Post a Comment