Characters / Little Women

The characters from Little Women

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     Margaret "Meg" March 

  • Proper Lady: Impeccably good, dutiful and lady-like. This provides much contrast with rebellious tomboy Jo, insecure Fragile Flower Beth, and Spoiled Brat Amy.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Jo's Red.
  • Riches to Rags: She's the sister who can most clearly remember the family's prosperous past, and in the first book she can be a bit greedy at times.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When Belle Moffat dolls her up in one of her gowns. Subverted later: Laurie isn't impressed by how Meg behaves in that party and calls her out on it.
  • Team Mom: For her younger sisters.
  • Widow Woman: John dies in Little Men, so Meg has to finish raising their twins John/"Demi" and Margaret/"Daisy" and baby Josie.

     Josephine "Jo" March 

  • Determinator: One notable trait of Jo's would be her determination: when she set her mind on something, it was very difficult to dissuade her from doing it
  • Fiery Redhead: Chestnut brown, which has red in it, depending on one's interpretation of chestnut). She is also, however, almost always a redhead in The Musical, as that is how she was initially played by Sutton Foster.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric.
  • Genki Girl: By 19th-century standards, at least. She's easily the most enthusiastic of the four sisters.
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: With Amy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Her Fatal Flaw that often leads her in trouble.
  • Hot-Blooded: The most impulsive, hot-tempered and passionate of the four girls.
  • Important Haircut: One of Jo's turning points in the first book was willingly cutting and selling her gorgeous Rapunzel Hair to help the family after Robert falls seriously ill and Marmee must go take care of him. Everyone reacts as if she was the victim of a Traumatic Haircut, but Jo is calm about it... until she's alone with Meg that night and confesses that it wasn't as easy as it seemed.
  • Kick the Dog: Ignores any attempts Amy makes at making up after their fight, then purposely neglects to tell her about the rotten ice when they go ice skating.
  • Lethal Chef: That time she invites Laurie for dinner and tries to cook, making a horrible mess.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Laurie's Feminine Boy.
  • May–December Romance: With Friedrich, who is 15 years older than her and actually started as her Big Brother Mentor.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: She's an Author Avatar after all, so this makes perfect sense.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Her name Josephine is rarely used.
  • Plucky Girl: The most obvious example in the book. She's brave, confident and never gives up.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to both Meg's and Beth's Blue. Also to Amy's Blue in Part II.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Laurie and Friedrich, respectively. She chooses Friederich, as she never liked Laurie romantically in the first place.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Meg/Laurie in Part I and for Beth/Laurie in Part II.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Given her outspoken, tomboy nature and her intellectual gifts. Though she starts off as more of a Tomboy, she gradually conforms a bit more to society's standards as she ages: witness her very domestic mending of Professor Bhaer's clothes as an adult. Meg plays the Proper Lady in contrast.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Dark-haired, very tall (at least in the book) and the snarkiest sister.
  • Team Mom: In Little Men.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Amy's Girly Girl. Jo is a headstrong Spirited Young Lady with a fiery temper who rejects female values and convention and finds sentimentality utterly repellent. Amy is a vain, spoiled artistic beauty, obsessed with her appearance, who aspires to be the perfect Proper Lady (and she actually becomes one when she grows up).
  • Tomboyish Name: Jo is short for Josephine. She's also a tomboy herself.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: In the 1987 anime, her hair is in a ponytail, which may or may not be historically inacurate
  • Tsundere: Type B. She is a nice girl, but sometimes can be brutally honest and has a bad temper.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Laurie. This is exactly why she turns him down when he proposes to her.

     Elizabeth "Beth" March 

  • Friend to All Living Things: From cats to birds to other animals.
  • Ill Girl: She had scarlet fever in the first book. It doesn't seem much now, but actually scarlet fever can have very serious side-effects in the heart that were fatal and untreatable back then, and those are what killed poor Beth in the end.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Purity and innocence are her main defining traits (besides shyness).
  • Kill the Cutie: A sweet, selfless but painfully shy Kindhearted Cat Lover who eventually becomes an Ill Girl and dies. Sniff.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: She loves taking care of her pet cats.
  • Ms. Imagination: Her "little world was peopled with imaginary friends," and she cares for her sisters' cast-off dolls as if they were invalids in a hospital.
  • Nice Girl: Almost too nice to believe. Out of all the girls, Beth has by far the least amount of flaws and she does nothing but try to please others.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Again, nobody calls her Elizabeth.
  • The Quiet One: Extremely meek and reserved compared to the rest of the family.
  • Shrinking Violet: Her main flaw. She finds it very difficult, even painful, to talk to people outside her immediate family, and stops going to school out of shyness. She gets... a little better, but not too much.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Especially played up in the musical, where her death occurs offscreen but is preceded by a sweet duet about destiny between her and Jo, and about how Jo is meant for greater things than taking care of her ill sister.

     Amy Curtis March 

  • Proper Lady: As a child she was more a wannabe Proper Lady, but she becomes a real one when she grows up.
  • She's All Grown Up: She believed herself to be ugly as a child due to an accident involving her nose. Turns out she grew into quite the cutie.
  • Spoiled Brat: As a child she is prone to behave in a vain and self-centered way, especially if she doesn't get what she wants.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Jo's Tomboy. Jo is a headstrong Spirited Young Lady with a fiery temper who rejects convention and finds sentimentality repellent (except in books). Amy is a vain, petted artistic beauty, anxious over her appearance, who aspires to be the perfect Proper Lady.

     Theodore "Laurie" Laurence 

     Margaret "Marmee" March 

     Robert "Father" March 

  • Badass Preacher: He may have not fought, but the mere fact that he decided to help other soldiers via giving them spiritual counselings in the campaigns lands him here.
  • Good Parents: Much like his wife, he's a perfect loving father with no apparent flaws.
  • Good Shepherd: He was too old to fight in the war, but still enrolled as chaplain.
  • Happily Married: To Mrs. March.
  • Riches to Rags: Had a reasonably good fortune, but lost it to help some friends. The family's economic situation never really got better.
  • Sick Episode: Played VERY seriously, as he falls sick while still at war and that threw a big wrench in the family dynamics since Marmee had to go there and leave the girls alone.

     Aunt Josephine March 

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: If she does like you, she might help a little.
    • She genuinely liked Amy despite giving her a hard time and worried over Beth's illness, and when she died, she left her Plumfield house to Jo.
    • She complains about and criticizes her nephew's family to the point where Marmee can barely stand her, but due to the family's poverty, she offered to adopt one of the girls, supplies the money for Marmee to visit Father, surreptitiously provides Meg with an enormously overstocked linen closet as a wedding present despite swearing not to, and Amy notices that, for all of her riches and treasures, the most precious to her is her wedding ring. Aunt March is a cross, sour old lady, but she definitely has the heart of gold down, too.
  • Neat Freak: Poor Amy!
  • Rich Bitch: A rich, snooty, cranky old widow. As seen in Jerk with a Heart of Gold, she's not entirely bad.

     Mr. James Laurence 

     John Brooke 

  • Character Death: In Little Men.
  • Happily Married: To Meg in Part II.
  • Nice Guy: A hard-working, decent guy, and later, a good husband to Meg.
    Emil: Uncle Fritz is the wisest, and Uncle Laurie the jolliest, but Uncle John was the best, and I'd rather be like him more than any man I ever knew."

     Professor Friedrich "Fritz" Bhaer 

     John Laurence "Demi" Brooke 

  • Big Brother Bully: He loves Daisy, but if he told her to jump off a bridge, she'd do it. And if he got into his head some sort of fanciful idea about jumping off bridges, he would probably ask.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He's very well respected and admired among his classmates for this reason, is above reproach in any serious trouble (though he's still a little naughty sometimes), and the other boys wouldn't even consider attempting to convince him to do anything really morally wrong.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Just for fun, and much to his mother's distress.
  • Punny Name: He's named after his father, so the family would have been stuck calling him "Jack" to keep from having two Johns running around, but Laurie suggested naming him "Demijohn" ("Little John") and calling him "Demi" for short... which also happened to be alliterative with the nickname Aunt Amy gave to his twin sister.

     Margaret "Daisy" Brooke 

     Franz Hoffmann 

     Emil Hoffmann