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Amy March: A Hero For Annoying Little Sisters

When Little Women came out in December of 2019, the entire nation adored it. People of all ages fell in love with the four March sisters and saw themselves within each of them. Even my friend group was able to identify each friend as one of the sisters, and the March sisters perfectly encapsulated our group of four. But, for the self-proclaimed Amy’s of the world, the younger, spoiled sisters that have a hint of quirk and ambition, like myself, the representation of Amy became overwhelmingly important.

Little Women is the story of the four March sisters; Meg played by Emma Watson, Jo played by Saoirse Ronan, Beth played by Eliza Scanlen, and Amy played by Florence Pugh who each go on their own journeys to find the women they are meant to be. The story takes place during the Civil War and features some big-name actors and actresses like Laura Dern,

Timothée Chalamet, Bob Odenkirk, and Meryl Streep.

As a child, I never felt like I saw myself in the films I was watching. My appearance is pretty general with blue/green eyes, and blonde hair, but my characteristics were seemingly rare; ambition, drive, femininity, creativity. The same qualities that Amy March emulates within mere moments of Little Women.

I remember sitting in the theater with my entire family; about halfway through the film my parents and sister turned to me and pointed to the screen, mouthing “that’s you.” For years, I had watched characters with the same qualities as my older sister, she’s a Jo March, a Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games), a Tris Prior (Divergent), or a Scarlet Witch (Avengers). She saw herself on screen, for me this was a first.

Amy’s power goes beyond just being relatable for the annoying little sisters that never appear on screen, but Florence Pugh and Greta Gerwig’s edition of the book changes to script from past Amy March’s. The book portrays her as selfish and an awful sister, the past movies portray her as annoying, but the 2019 Little Women gives Amy a heart and reminds the audience that things aren’t always as they seem on the surface level.

Amy March played by Florence Pugh plays with twine

Amy goes beyond simply being the feminine and spoiled younger sister but is sympathetic, ambitious, driven, talkative, and just a tad annoying. She speaks for what she believes in and refuses to remain quiet. The quotes from her are perhaps some of the most poignant aside from Jo’s;

“I want to be great or nothing“

“I’d be respected if I couldn’t be loved”

“Well, I believe we have some power over who we love, it isn't something that just happens to a person.”

Each of her quotes holds this unruly power, they make her words linger in my head when I’m working on projects, or when I’m pushing myself to try new things.

The film ambitiously tackles the fact that Amy HAS to marry rich, rather than just seeing her marry Laurie and being angry about it. You see Amy the youngest and most romantic of the March sisters feel this pressure to marry rich, in order to keep her family alive and to do what she would like to do with her life. The film perfectly encapsulates the boundaries of being a woman at the time and the importance of marrying rich in a monologue by Amy.

Here’s the quote from the video if you don’t watch;

“Well. I'm not a poet, I'm just a woman. And as a woman, I have no way to make money, not enough to earn a living and support my family. Even if I had my own money, which I don't, it would belong to my husband the minute we were married. If we had children they would belong to him, not me. They would be his property. So don't sit there and tell me that marriage isn't an economic proposition, because it is. It may not be for you but it most certainly is for me.”

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women has become my ultimate favorite movie, and a movie I constantly turn to when I need a moment to relax or smile. There is perhaps no better explanation for my great love for the film than with the character of Amy March, who became one of the first characters that I looked at the screen at and saw myself, and other people saw it too.


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