Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Tearjerker / Little Women

Go To

  • Louisa May Alcott's poems My Beth and In The Garrett.
  • Everything about Beth's death, really.
    Often when she woke Jo found Beth reading in her well-worn little book, heard her singing softly, to beguile the sleepless night, or saw her lean her face upon her hands, while slow tears dropped through the transparent fingers, and Jo would lie watching her with thoughts too deep for tears, feeling that Beth, in her simple, unselfish way, was trying to wean herself from the dear old life, and fit herself for the life to come, by sacred words of comfort, quiet prayers, and the music she loved so well.
    • "I know I shall be homesick for you, even in Heaven..."
    • Considering that Mr. Lawrence lost his beloved granddaughter at a tragic young age, and Beth's presence reminded him of her, on has to realize that Mr. Lawrence must feel as though he lost his beloved granddaughter all over again.
  • In the 1994 film, after Amy and Laurie have gotten married, Jo says "Promise me that you will always live close by. I couldn't bear losing another sister." The Reality Subtext of Amy's real-life equivalent May Alcott Nieriker, who died in Paris the year after her marriage, is incredibly sad.
  • Advertisement:
  • Amy burning Jo's manuscript - which she had worked on for years - all over jealousy that she couldn't go to the theatre. The 1994 film adds to the sadness by having Jo cry in Beth's arms, while Marmee comforts her - and Amy hovers in the door knowing she went too far and can only reply with a weak "I'm sorry, Jo..."
  • Also in the 1994 film, when Jo begins to write the story based off her sisters, the camera pans around the empty attic as we hear echoes of the sisters' old conversations up there. It goes to show that even though Jo is immortalising them in fiction, those times are gone and the sisters will never be together like that again.
  • The death of John Brooke in Little Men, complete with more tragic Reality Subtext.
    A very simple service, and very short; for the fatherly voice that had faltered in the marriage-sacrament now failed entirely as Mr. March endeavored to pay his tribute of reverence and love to the son whom he most honored.
  • "Some Things Are Meant to be," from the musical, from beginning to end.
    "All my life I've lived for loving you.
    Let me go now."
  • The fact that out of the four Alcott's sisters, Louisa May couldn't change her beloved sister's name, so she kept her name as Elizabeth.
  • For the 2019 film: knowing Marmee and the March family as a whole, Beth's clothes and things will probably be donated to people in need after her death. But we see Marmee and Jo packing a box with things to keep that were especially dear to her—in particular, her sheet music and her beloved doll. They're going to stay true to themselves and help people, but they're also not going to let Beth's spirit go.
      Advertisement:
    • Beth's death in this version is also paralleled with her recovery from Scarlet Fever in the past. Both scenes are shown intercut with each other - and both times Jo wakes up to find Beth's bed empty. The first time, she goes downstairs to find Beth sitting up and being seen to by Marmee. The second time, she just sees Marmee crying alone and knows her sister is gone.
  • The monologue of Jo's that made it into the trailer of the 2019 film seems like it's an empowering, passionate Rousing Speech. But in context, it's an anguished rant as Jo grapples with her desire to buck the system she despises (expecting women to only be wives and mothers) and yet she can't help but admit that she's deeply lonely (enough so that she reconsiders Laurie's proposal in this version).
    • And if you lean towards the Last Minute Hook Up between Jo and Friedrich being made up for her book, that could be interpreted to be even sadder - Jo writing a Fix Fic giving herself the companionship she wanted in real life but didn't take.
  • The 2019 film also has the scene between Jo and Meg on the latter's wedding day. While it does lead into Meg's awesome moment about how her dreams are just as valid as Jo's, Jo is begging her sister to run away with her and not get married. You see Jo struggling with the fact that her older sister is never going to be with her in the way they were as children again. It can hit home for those who feel that Growing Up Sucks (especially if they're not of the marrying and having children type, where it can feel as though marriage and kids is going somewhere they can't follow). With the above mentioned speech, it shows that Jo is desperate not to end up alone.
  • Advertisement:
  • For those who dearly loved the series, the final line of Jo's Boys:
    "And now, having endeavoured to suit everyone by many weddings, few deaths, and as much prosperity as the eternal fitness of things will permit, let the music stop, the lights die out, and the curtain fall forever on the March family."
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report