19th Century

What’s with the Megs?

Two weeks ago my poll asked which Little Woman you were.  I was quite surprised with the responses.  The poll responses looked like this:

  • Meg: 12 of 29
  • Jo: 11 of 29
  • Beth: 2 of 29
  • Amy: 4 of 29

Meg as a paper doll, 1980s, Helen Page

I can’t believe it!  The largest amount of you identified with Meg!

I thought no-one identified with Meg!  She was always the most boring of the March girls to me.  Sure, she was the prettiest, but other than that, as far as I could see she didn’t have a lot going for her.  She wasn’t bright or witty or talented like her sisters.  As I read the book, she idolised conventional society, and had to be basically bashed over the head with lessons to make her realise that it wasn’t all it was stacked up to be.  She didn’t even realise that she loved Mr Brooks until Aunt March warned her off him.  And then she married him and settled down and was a boring, conventional Victorian mother.  Blah

Amy as a paper doll, 1980s, Helen Page

Me, I have all of Jo’s worst faults, one of her best characteristics, and her sewing talent, combined with some of Amy’s more appealing character qualities.  I’m mostly graceful and charming in society (Amy), with the occasional tendency to speak my own mind as I see it, not always politely (Jo).  I stand my beliefs, no matter how unpopular they are with other people, and constantly have to work not to judge people who say one thing and act another (Jo).  And I make pretty clothes (Jo), and I get told I have style (Amy).  And I’m probably vainer than I ought to be (Amy).  And I definitely have a temper (Jo).  Sigh.

Jo as a paper doll, 1980s, Helen Page

But Meg?  I can’t see any Meg in me.  I can’t even see much Meg in Meg!

But according to my poll lots of people who I adore (hehe…I can see your ISB!)  think they are Meg-ish.  So clearly I missed something in my reading.  So what do you see in Meg?  Why are you a Meg?  Or why aren’t you a Meg?

Beth as a paper doll, 1980s, Helen Page

Also, why was no-one a Laurie?  None of you were overly generous, occasionally impulsive, a bit petulant when thwarted, very idealistic, and had a major first love?  No one?  What’s with that!?!


  1. How did this poll escape me? Well, I’d have had a hard time choosing. I am a tiny bit like Meg (probably because I am a mother) but I do hope I have a more fascinating life than she did, because I love to travel and stick costumes on my kids (which reminds me of Little Women) for school and monthly trips to Colonial Williamsburg! I am partly Jo because I love to write. I am mostly Beth, because I am shy and tend to pull back, which I do everywhere I go and no one ever notices me. However because I’m at CW all the time, the interpreters know me and pull me out of lurkdom (to my delight) and some of the employees and readers of my homeschool blog recognize me at CW which I find to be a lot of fun…so I’m not completely like Beth either, I’ve learned.

  2. Oh, and Laurie…I’ve always been dismayed that a guy in one of my favorite books has my name. =(

  3. Natalie says

    GAH I missed this poll too!!!!!!! I guess it was because I was off having a baby (meg). But really I would have voted Amy or Jo.

    I do like Meg but don’t identify with her.

  4. Caroline says

    I think I’m more of a mix of Jo (opinionated, stubborn, sure of herself) Beth (shy, and ok… very nice) and Amy (also charming, stylish and vain) also I can use a needle pretty well (-:

    I think there should be a Dr Who poll (-:

  5. I still like David Tennant as Dr Who the best.

    Meg’s not boring, I don’t think so. Remember, she was raised by recently impoverished Transcendentalists- these people had strong beliefs in the power of hard work and strong character as a way to bring themselves closer to God. In a lot of ways, they were in direct opposition to the consumerist, image obsessed Victorians. I see Meg’s transformation to be one where she lets go of the material life and takes hold of the more spiritual life her parents stand for. She’s choosing to be a wife and mother, she chooses to support her family, and she does it happily in a small little cottage rather than a grand estate. I think she shows great humility and patience.

    When I was a girl, I identified most with Jo (how did I miss that poll?) though I never quite forgave her for refusing Laurie and marrying a weird old German professor. Until I married a weird foreign academic instead of my teenage sweetie. Now I totally get it. So I guess I’m still Jo.

    I always wanted to slap Amy, too.

    • I get all that you are saying, but I really feel that she has to have the benefits of the spiritual life drummed into her, and while her acceptance and support are commendable, she doesn’t have any other interesting qualities. She seems like a lovely person, but not an interesting one!

      I always thought that Amy got an unfair rap, because we meet her at 12, which is such a ridiculously difficult age for girls, especially when they are expected to go to school and socialise with other girls. I bet if we had met Jo and Meg at 12 we would have wanted to slap them too! Beth gets a lucky pass because she was never expected to go out, and thus never placed where she had peer pressure. And Jo was older. She should have been more understanding and done more explaining. And I say this coming from Jo’s position in the family, with guilt at my impatience at my younger sisters youthful brattiness!

  6. Liz says

    I don’t know how I missed this poll! I always identified most with Jo as a kid. Back in the day I thought I wanted to be a writer and I’ve always been a bit overly dramatic. 🙂

    • All of these answers are reminding me of why I like Little Women so much – all of the girls have faults and virtues, and in analysing which one we are, we also acknowledge our own faults and strengths! And maybe learn from them!

  7. Melissa says

    I am mostly Jo; I am a writer and tend to say what I think, and I often get into impolite conversation without being aware that I am doing so, or else not caring. I am doing something that is still a bit unconventional for women (yay being in the sciences!). But I always felt uncomfortably like Amy in some ways. I am the youngest of four children and was a little spoiled, but I can identify with how left out she felt, and how she tried to tag along with her older siblings. I can’t say that I would have destroyed their notebooks out of revenge though!

    I want to re-read that book and then have a party with my mom and sister to watch the (newer) movie, now!

  8. I am a Meg all the way. It’s not that she is the most interesting, but I am most like her. I wish I caould be more interesting, or daring like Jo, but I’m not. But, I do love that she is content (at the end) to settle down as a model of victorian motherhood. That’s my idea of happiness. My favorite character is probably Amy, but I am by no means like her.

    Also, I played her in a Little Women community theater performance. so I /am/ meg.

    • I’m completely with you, Clara. I identify most with Meg for the fact that she is content with being a wife and mother, which is also my idea of happiness, and likes wearing and making pretty things. I love wearing and making pretty things!!!

      While reading the book, I always got annoyed with the other characters, Amy was too young and foolish, Jo was far too rash, and Beth…. ugh. She was depressing, in both the movie and the book. Sigh, I’ll stop now or I’ll never shut up about Little Women. 🙂

      • That I can see. I guess I don’t consider being a wife and mother an acceptable end goal – it leaves too much of your life left over! And Meg does have less obvious faults and flaws than her sisters.

        • Hello! I am a “Meg,” though I somehow missed the poll. I love seeing your work, by the way, though I’ve not commented before. Truly beautiful!

          I haven’t always identified with the oldest March sister. I considered myself more of an “Amy,” in that I had definite artistic sensibilities and a tendency to be very annoying as the youngest sister in my family.

          As I grew older, and read and re-read the book, I found myself relating to Meg as a blossoming young woman with a love for pretty things and domesticity, and later as a young wife.

          I relate to all the March girls, in a way. But, since my family is the closest thing to my heart, “Meg” it is. My sister identifies with Meg as well; she considers herself to be practical and not given to creative endeavor in the same way as Jo and Amy.

          I am a bit hurt by what you’ve written here about those of us whose “end goal” is to have a happy home, to be a good wife and mother. I must say that I’m happy I didn’t consult with you about whether or not it was acceptable! I hope I have just misunderstood the tone of your writing.

          • Oh dear, I’m sorry! I meant that I feel the goal shouldn’t be to be the wife (i.e. get married) and the mother (have the kid), but to have these as milestones in your life, and to have goals beyond them – because a marriage should be a partnership and should help you grow and develop as a person, and not be the goal in itself. And being a mother isn’t just about having the kids and raising them well, because even once that is done there need to be goals and meanings to life.

            I guess I also distrust (not quite the right word but can’t think of the perfect one) marriage and motherhood as goals, because all the wanting in the world can’t give you those things if they aren’t meant to be, and if you can’t have one or both of them, watching people who see them as their life goal achieve them makes the pain and feeling of failure even worse. If you set altruism, or art, or music, or intellect, or personal development as your goal, you can always work for it, and if you are lucky enough to have marriage and motherhood happen, you can add making the best go of them that you possibly can to your goals.

            I hope that explains it better.

  9. Elise says

    Maybe I just got off the kind of day where I had to talk to a lot of people, while never acquitting myself too well. So, I didn’t relate very well to the extroverts the day the poll went up. And I never liked Beth.

  10. Sandi says

    I’m a Meg all the way! Maybe it has something to do with birth order too, I’m the oldest of four in my family as well. I never found Meg un-interesting and I love the stories about her and John in Good Wives!

  11. I am actually unlike any of them.

    I don’t have a bit of Jo in me, except for sticking up for my beliefs. I am a bit like Amy, because I am an artist. I am the eldest sibling, so that is the most Meg I have, and I am shy and gentle, so there is the Beth part. But I have found that none of the March really fit enough to say that I am most like any of them.

    But for the artist part, I chose Amy. LOL

  12. Beth D. says

    …which one of them married Christian Bale?

    (yes, I’m terrible. and haven’t read the book -or- seen the movie.)

  13. Jay says

    Like Jo, I was too tall, too thin and too full on. I loved it or hated it.
    Always with the boys , alone with a book or away with the feirys dreaming up something crazy.
    Not meaning to get into fights but I would open my mouth and fights would find me and I would have to back it up or back down. I never backed down.
    Tried hard to fit in and be good but found it hard to stop pushing against rules for good girls it wasn’t enough. then being as good as the boys wasn’t good enough.
    Didn’t get that I was a Woman until the first boy tried it on and got punched out.
    Found myself laughing at Jo the first time I read Little women.

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