Young Girl's Expectations
Cultural Assumption 2
The cultural assumption is young girl's expectations and that as children turn into adults they should uphold the family reputation. In modern times growing up is all young children want to do but the realisation of adulthood can be daunting and scary. Try having the whole families reputation relying on you.
The author shows this through the character of Jo who is the protagonist. While she is not the eldest daughter she is the one who is the most different and challenges her parents and society.
Acting in a specific way was what young girls had to do to up hold the reputation of their family. They had to dress a certain way, their hair had to be tied up often in a bonnet which Jo found irritating. They were expected to marry a suitable, often rich husband. They had to act in a proper way with good manners and high social status. Jo, who hated being a girl, had trouble trying to be fashionable and a feminine character. For example, when the girls had to dress for any special occasion such as church Jo had trouble as she disliked all girly clothes and accessories.
Jo didn't want to get married but knew she would eventually have to. An example of Jo's love life is when Laurie (the boy next door) falls in love with Jo and proposes to her, Jo rejects the proposal and leaves and goes to New York for two years to try new things. Jo then returns to Beth's death bed as she fails to recover from Scarlet Fever. Jo finds that Laurie was now married to her sister Amy. Jo believes she will never find someone like Laurie again. Jo ignored the expectations of her family and for a small amount of time Jo regrets her decision of not marrying Laurie, but then finds another man named Mr. Bhaer and live happily ever after.
Laurie tried to follow what his family expected him to do which was to propose to Jo. But this was not successful as Jo rejected the proposal, which then left Laurie to fall in love with Jo's younger sister Amy. Back in the 1800's expectations where the same for both genders when it came to marriage.
The young girls didn't want to grow up, they wanted to stay young little girls and play childish games. But society had different expectations on the way that the girls behaved, Jo especially as she did not care about the societies views. This assumption tells me that Alcott ignored her expectations of that time and rejected the proposal of the man she was to marry.
I believe that it is not right to have you family choose who you are to marry and how you want to dress as it is your own life and beliefs. This has changed incredibly over time as today we do not have given expectations on who to marry and what we need to wear.