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YMMV / Little Men

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  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Bess is the angel to Dan's bad-boy.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: For some, Tommy and Nan, although others appreciate that Nan was able to become a single, successful career woman in her own right. And because ''ANYTHING' is preferable to Dan's tragic outcome , both Dan/Bess and Dan/Nat are liked. (Considering how Dan and Nat are constantly described in the book, this is unsurprising).
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  • Ho Yay: The close friendship between the rough, difficult Dan and the gentle, sweet violinist, Nat has been commented on and even fanfictioned by modern readers.
  • Moe: Daisy who has only grown more sweet as she has grown up. Nat is the male version of this, being forever tender-hearted and gentle.
  • The Scrappy: The "pure, perfect, princess" Bess to a number of readers - just like her mother Amy.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Several regarding Nat:
      • Nat is caught telling a lie, and this is treated as a very serious issue. The problem is, a much older boy was threatening to beat him if he'd ran through the boy's veggie patch - which he'd done because he was being chased by another older boy - so Nat got scared and denied it. And neither of the other boys were punished or even given a talking-to, leaving an apparent message that lying to get out of a dangerous situation is not only wrong, but so much worse than threatening and bullying little kids who aren't able to defend themselves. Made worse later in the book, when Nat's previous "sin" of lying (which hadn't appeared since the veggie patch incident) is used as justification for everyone assuming he'd robbed one of the other boys and was refusing to own up to it. Even though he'd never stolen anything previously and the narrator even acknowledged his lies were only ever minor fibs. However, this is a Broken Aesop now: in these years, lying was worse than anything but murder, especially for children.
      • Jo and the others continually worry about Nat being 'weak' - i.e. effeminate, gentle, soft and not traditionally masculine. Presenting that as a character flaw in today's media would only make the adults look unsympathetic rather than Nat.
      • Meg claiming that Nat isn't good enough for Daisy and her opposition to them as a couple. At the time the book was written, class and parentage were much more important than today and Meg not wanting a former street orphan for a son-in-law was reasonable (even if he'd been basically raised by her sister). For modern readers, as Nat is a perfectly respectable, hard-working guy who Daisy adores, Meg's attitude seems like pure snobbishness. Likewise, Daisy obeying her mother is seen as less of a virtue and more of being a doormat.
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    • Billy Ward's father is illustrated as having pushed his son's education far too hard by "keeping him at his books six hours a day". Nowadays six-hour school days are the bare minimum (not counting homework). Internationally some school days go as long as sixteen hours. (Although odds are Billy was doing the same reading and writing the whole time, without any of the breaks for recess, liberal arts, etc. that are considered healthy today.)
    • The opening chapter of Jo's Boys unceremoniously informs us that physically disabled Dick and mentally disabled Billy are dead now. And "no one could mourn for them, since life would never be happy, afflicted as they were in mind and body". While the idea that death is preferable to disability is still around, it's far less acceptable, let alone charitable or sympathetic.
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    • Right after John Brooke's death, Professor Bhaer tells his students he "died as he has lived, so cheerfully, so peacefully, that it seems a sin to mar the beauty of it with any violent or selfish grief." Getting upset about the unexpected death of a close friend and relative as "selfish" and "a sin" would be an extremely hard sell in a children's book today.
    • In Jo's Boys, 24-year-old Dan is secretly in love with 15-year-old Bess. Jo tells him it can never happen (because of the class difference, not the age difference) but encourages him to keep carrying a torch for her because it will inspire him to be a good person.
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