A Modern Little Women

I’m so sorry that this post is late.

“If you were asked to rewrite/modernize a classic novel which one would you choose?”

It seems that adapting classic stories is wildly popular right now. I’m sure it has been popular before now and I just had not noticed. I am a reader who loves to read my favorite stories over and over again. In fact, in March of 2020 when things started to go sideways, I started reading my childhood favorites to my youngest. I found it soothing, it was like being with an old friend. Wyatt loved every story I read to him, except for one. There is such a comfort in being able to go to the classics and lose yourself in them. A few years ago, there was a modern movie version of Little Women which I was sorely disappointed in.

I absolutely adore Little Women. It is one of my all time favorite books. I own two or three copies of the books. One contains both Little Women and Good Wives printed together. Then I have paperback and hardback copies of Little Women and Good Wives. I had never really thought about modernizing a classic. To me a classic does not need to be updated, these novels stand the test of time. It doesn’t matter if they are set in the late 1800s or if it is set in 2020, that story, those characters still resonate with readers. That is what makes them so special.

If I were ever to try my hand at modernizing a classic, I think I would want to try Little Women. The characters are all so well developed and so very complex. I have never really viewed anyone in that story as a secondary character who was just filling up space and I find that fascinating. The complex emotions of each person in the story, the layers to their persona are what makes them all so relatable. I find I can often see myself in many of them and understand why they feel the way that they do or why they did what they did. I would love to be able to bring something that well done to the modern world. However, I don’t think it is necessary. Little Women still speaks to it’s readers as much today as it did when it first was published.

About Angela Schroeder

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings, she never lacked for someone to play with. As she grew older, she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more. Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors, and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there. Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one-day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.
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6 Responses to A Modern Little Women

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    despite being a “lit” major in college — and going through all the English classes in high school and earlier — I never managed to read Little Women. In fact, I’ve never seen more than a clip of any of the film versions either.
    One of these days, perhaps…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    So how would you modernize the story? Would you set it in present day Massachusetts, or would you move it to the midwest? I’m sure you could substitute present-day wars and illnesses.

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  3. I read Little Women when I was probably about 11, and frankly, it was so foreign to me that although I read through, I could not relate to any of it. Since it seems to be a favorite of so many people, I really should get to it again. Maybe as an audiobook while I am doing other activities.
    I would really like to hear your ideas on it.

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    • I always felt myself to be a lot like Jo. Short tempered and tom-boyish.
      If I were to rework this classic. I feel like I could go one of two ways. I could set it in modern day Iowa, since that is the area that I know best. I feel like the March family could absolutely be a family from here. Perhaps Mrs. March was the daughter of a senator and when she married a farmer that she had fallen madly in love with she ended up choosing a simpler life. Meg is working as a para-educator to help provide for the family. Jo and Beth are both home schooled since Beth is so terribly shy and was perhaps being bullied. Jo refused to go to school without her so she choose to stay with her. Amy, who thrives socially, attends a private school (her tuition being funded by Aunt March). When Beth becomes ill, I think instead of going the route of cancer I would want to take it down an autoimmune disease route. There are so many of those that could use some attention brought to them.
      I could also go the direction of placing it in a fantasy. Perhaps in a world similar to Jade’s: Out of the Ashes, where society has collapsed, pretty much sending the world back in time technologically.

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  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I loved Little Women and have read parts of it many times. I think I identified most with Meg.

    Liked by 1 person

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