THE RATIONAL ANIMAL'S LONGINGS: Does Jo say yes to Professor Bhaer?

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2020

But also, My Brilliant Career:
Does Jo March marry Professor Bhaer at the end of the new Little Women?

Perhaps at Marienbad! Over at Slate, Martinelli and Schwedel debated the question on Christmas morning, the very day the new film was released.

The two "superfans" couldn't settle the question. This very day, at The Guardian, it seems that Laura Snapes has:
SNAPES (1/29/20): In her biggest change to Alcott’s narrative, Gerwig reconciles the unease between Jo’s teenage passions and grownup reality by having her refuse to marry Professor Bhaer or to wed the heroine in the story she sells: she has said she wanted viewers to feel the same thrill over “girl gets book” as they usually would when “girl gets boy”. Her decision has been praised for recognising Alcott’s feminist intentions and for validating a woman’s mind over her romantic potential; it’s also been criticised for perpetuating lean-in feminism and, in its own way, devaluing the original text.
There's a bit of fuzz in the sentence in question. But Snapes seems to say that Jo doesn't simply remain unmarried at the end of the film.

According to Snapes, Jo refuses to marry Herr Bhaer!

Whatever! As we've noted before, there's nothing "wrong" with so much confusion, or for that matter with so much "adaptation," unless you decide that there is.

Regarding the thrill of "girl gets book," Gillian Armstrong has already provided that thrill in My Brilliant Career, the 1979 Aussie film which has long been one of our three favorite films.

My Brilliant Career won six (Australian) Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. Up Here, it won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

Later, Armstrong directed the 1994 version of Little Women. We liked it a lot when we stumbled upon it, though nowhere near as much.

In related news, Gerwig seems to pay musical homage to My Brilliant Career at two points in her new Little Women. It's a fact you'll learn nowhere else!

At two different points in Gerwig's film, two different characters play the piano in the March home. On each occasion, out comes Schumann's Of Foreign Lands and People, the musical theme of the utterly brilliant My Brilliant Career.

Is My Brilliant Career utterly brilliant—an utterly brilliant film? Such things are matters of judgment! That said, its young heroine does in fact refuse to marry at the end of the film, breaking the hearts of the bulk of the audience, along with that of Sam Neill.

The film's young heroine, played by Judy Davis, is determined to finish the book she is writing—a book about her own challenging life. Sam Neill is utterly good, and wholly devoted, but their exchange, near the end, goes exactly like this:
JUDY DAVIS: Can't you see? The last thing I want is, is to be a wife out in the bush, having a baby every year.

SAM NEILL: You can have anything you want. We can go to the city as much as you like.

JUDY DAVIS: Dear, dear Harry. Maybe I'm ambitious, selfish. But I can't lose myself in somebody else's life when I haven't lived my own yet.

I want to be a writer. At least I'm going to try.
But I've got to do it now, and I've got to do it alone.

Please try and understand.

SAM NEILL: I thought you loved me. Don't you love me even a little?

JUDY DAVIS: Oh, Harry. I'm so near loving you. But I'd destroy you, and I can't do that.
Harry is utterly crestfallen. It's one of the greatest scenes we've ever seen, in large part because the audience wants so strongly to see her say yes, she will.

At any rate, and as you can see, the lead character in My Brilliant Career does all the things Jo March doesn't do at the end of Little Women. Unless you "adapt" the famous book, sailing to Byzantium by way of Marienbad.

Sybylla does all the things Jo March doesn't do. Maybe Gerwig should have done a remake of My Brilliant Career! Except you can't get rich and famous, commanding an army of silly fanpersons, if you decide to remake a film which lacks an army of superfans—a film which would be very hard to improve on.

We treasure the night when we heard the audience gasp when Judy said no to Sam! It's very rare see an audience so deeply involved in a story.

Today, we get to read debates about whether Jo does or doesn't marry Bhaer in the new adaptation. This is presented as feminism—and it could be that it actually is, depending on how you score it.

As our nation slides toward the sea, the feminism—like everything else—has sometimes displayed what the experts now widely describe as "a very stable dumbness."

The claims that Gerwig got "snubbed" by the Oscars have, quite routinely, been dogmatic and dumb beyond all human belief. So, of course, is a great deal we read these days in our leading newspapers, including this recent complaint in the Washington Post concerning what happened one candidate told a joke.

We have miles to go before we sleep regarding the punditry which has surrounded Gerwig's well-reviewed film. We now realize that our explorations will continue into next week—Oscar week itself!.

That said, the punditry has often been amazingly strange—and we'd have to say it has sometimes put "progressive" values on display which are less than wholly impressive.

Anthropologists keep telling us about the longings of our failing species. We long for the simplest possibles story, these credentialed experts despondently say—for a story in which we can reduce the world to the simplest possible formula.

Was Professor Bhaer too "stout," but also too poor and too "unattractive," for Dear Jo to marry? So they're saying over at Vox, in a remarkable series of reports about Gerwig's film.

The professor was too stout, too unattractive. But oh, what kinds of values are these, which keep going from bad to worse?

Tomorrow: The candidate tells a joke

36 comments:

  1. From the Lev Parnas tape released last week of Trump talking to his donors:

    “If Bernie were Hillary’s vice president, it would have been tougher,” Mr. Trump said, “because all those people that hated her so much who voted for me.” Mr. Trump added, “You know I got 20 percent of Bernie vote."

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is as if Somerby cannot understand that Jo and Sybylla are two different women.

    Somerby says: "It's one of the greatest scenes we've ever seen, in large part because the audience wants so strongly to see her say yes, she will."

    This isn't what makes a movie great, it is why women have only one role in society. It is a symptom of the straitjacket. It should not be necessary for a woman to say no to marriage in order to write and publish a book. The problem is that it is necessary. And why is that? Because of the demands that accompany marriage.

    There is a heartbreaking movie available on Amazon Prime this week, "A Suitable Girl" that is about marriage pressures and arranged marriages in India. Two of the women have career interests. One is forced to keep house for her new husband's family despite being promised that she can work in the family business. That is the essence of the problem. Once married, a woman has no rights and she is subject to the will of her husband in all respects, including (at the time of Little Women), number and spacing of children.

    There is nothing romantic and being asked to wed -- it is a career path, an economic necessity for most women, and they do not have the financial ability to refuse (for themselves or their families). Little Women has several characters explicitly explain this at several points in the film. THAT is the feminist content of the movie. In India, there is no pretense that marriages are for love. They were not in 1865 either, in the USA. It was a woman's only way to support herself in that time period, if her family was not wealthy, since there were few ways for women to find work that wasn't similarly housework. It is a big deal that Jo was able to sell her writing.

    So, when the audience roots for a heroine to accept a marriage proposal, it is the wrong reaction and it is a sign of amount of change still needed to accomplish, that the audience cannot root for a woman to attain her own goals but superimposes our society's false promises on her.

    A man might sincerely say, you can continue your writing. But when his needs are primary, they will come into conflict with her and the writing will seem trivial. When kids come (and there was not birth control in that time period or place, rural Australia) there is no question of whose needs come first.

    Is Somerby oblivious to the importance of Virginia Woolf's "A Room of Her Own"? Does he not understand what Sylvia Plath's book "The Bell Jar" and suicide was about?

    This is why men should take Women's Studies courses and why hearing someone like Somerby throw around the word "feminism", as if he had any clue what these films are about or what feminism means, is such an affront. And he has no sympathy for any woman with ambition. I suspect, he was once refused, like Sam Neill, which is why he resonates to that scene. But it is easy to see why he would have been refused, with his attitudes towards women who write (including Gerwig).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being a mother is the best and most important job a woman could do.

      Delete
    2. Being a writer or director is great but those are nothing compared to being a mother, the highest calling of them all.

      Delete
    3. Too bad that for a man “being a father” ranks somewhere between “enjoying sports game” and “drinking beer with buds”. On the other hand, it’s not nearly as high on the list as “knocking her up and hightailing it out of there.”

      Delete
    4. The movie was silly. Why for instance did it turn her suitor from an older German scholar of Romanticism to a young French hottie who required no imagination to be interested in? Ageism!

      Bob didn't even pursue THAT story perversion.

      Delete
    5. 5:36

      You're lost, twisted and insane. We need fathers just as much as mothers. But mothers have a more important job of course. No one can raise a child better.

      Delete


    6. I want to give a big thanks to a great spell caster commonly known as DR TAKUTA for the great spiritual prayers he did in my life by bringing my ex-lover back to me after many months of breakup and loneliness. With this, I am convinced that you are sent to this word to rescue people from heartbreaks and also to help us get the solution to every relationship problem. for those of you out there who have one relationship problem or the other why not contact DR TAKUTA. that is the best place you can solve all your problems, including a lack of jobs and promotions, binding and marriage spells, divorce and attraction spells, good luck and lotto spells, he has herbal medicine to cure any type of diseases and infections and medicine for infertility, and pregnancy spells, and also the business success and customer increase, winning court cases and many more. contact him at takutaspellalter@gmail.com or contact mobile contact +27788634102














































































      I want to give a big thanks to a great spell caster commonly known as DR TAKUTA for the great spiritual prayers he did in my life by bringing my ex-lover back to me after many months of breakup and loneliness. With this, I am convinced that you are sent to this word to rescue people from heartbreaks and also to help us get the solution to every relationship problem. for those of you out there who have one relationship problem or the other why not contact DR TAKUTA. that is the best place you can solve all your problems, including a lack of jobs and promotions, binding and marriage spells, divorce and attraction spells, good luck and lotto spells, he has herbal medicine to cure any type of diseases and infections and medicine for infertility, and pregnancy spells, and also the business success and customer increase, winning court cases and many more. contact him at takutaspellalter@gmail.com or contact mobile contact +27788634102



















































      Delete
  3. "Was Professor Bhaer too "stout," but also too poor and too "unattractive," for Dear Jo to marry? "

    Somerby saw the movie. He is not stout or short, but tall and thin. He is an immigrant with very little money. In that time period, he would have been the wrong caste for Jo, who is impoverished but from a good family (witness Aunt March and the family's social ties to Laurie's grandfather). They engage in noblesse oblige by giving away their Christmas dinner to the poor. That makes the immigrant professor an inappropriate match for Jo (in that day's social expectations). Marrying Jo off to him is Alcott's way of thumbing her nose at her day's conventions.

    Somerby's whining sounds like what you hear from today's incels, who are convinced that women reject them because of their looks, when it is their personalities that women run from.

    If anyone were to judge by looks, it would be Amy, who is vain about her own appearance and had sufficient suitors to be choosey. In reality, women married whoever asked them if they had a lot of money and social position, regardless of their looks. Frequently young women were forced by economic circumstances to marry much older men, often with children by previous wives, because it was the reality that women died in childbirth or of infectious diseases and a man would need a new woman to keep house and raise his pre-existing children. How romantic is that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was also not an old German scholar as in the book. Why the change? Her intellectual interest in him was key.

      Delete
  4. This is what the Times article by Jessica Bennett noted about Alcott’s decision to marry off Jo:

    “She [Alcott] hadn’t initially wanted to write a book for girls, but when the publisher asked, she obliged, basing it on her own life. Though she remained single — it was simply not realistic to want to be a writer and a wife and a mother at the time — she married off her literary heroine because her publisher and readers demanded it. As Alcott wrote in a letter to a friend: “Jo should have remained a literary spinster but so many enthusiastic young ladies wrote to me clamorously demanding that she should marry Laurie, or somebody, that I didn’t dare refuse & out of perversity went & made a funny match for her.” (That funny match was Professor Bhaer.)”

    ReplyDelete
  5. Somerby ought to do a little more research into My Brilliant Career the film, and find out what changes director Gillian Armstrong made to the original book by Miles Franklin.

    He could ask himself what “feminism” means, and why he approves of Armstrong’s supposed “feminism” and disapproves of Gerwig’s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what kind of feminism is it to go for a young French hottie?

      Delete
  6. “the feminism—like everything else—has sometimes displayed what the experts now widely describe as "a very stable dumbness."”

    It might be described this way, by someone who refuses to listen to or try to understand what women are saying.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Was Professor Bhaer too "stout," but also too poor and too "unattractive,"

    Somerby continues, So they are saying over at Vox. Then when you click on the link you find an article about marriage as a financial transaction. It is not about the Professor's looks at all. Why does Somerby mislead readers this way? Because he wants us to believe that women are shallow and only care about men's looks? As the linked article clearly explains, women needed to think about their family's financial welfare and married for the support it provided, essentially selling their live's labor and child bearing ability to whatever man might best provide for her and her family. That is not about looks. It is about economics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the movie it was about looks. In the book it wasn't. Some progress.

      Delete
  8. According to Wikipedia, Gillian Armstrong's second film, my Brilliant Career, was the first feature-length Australian film to be directed by a woman in 46 years. She was not paid for directing it. Her first paid directing gig, after the success of My Brilliant Career, was a rock video.

    She did later do her own version of Little Women. Jo marries the Professor in that one. Since its plot is straightforward from beginning to end, it probably was much easier for Somerby to follow, although he hasn't mentioned seeing it once, much less 3 times. You'd think he would see it, since My Brilliant Career is one of his favorite films.

    My favorite director is Martin Ritt and I've seen almost all of his films, several many times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What was that one about the miners? Molly Maguires? Good forgotten movie.

      I think the book Little Women had a better plot than this latest version. The changes were inane -- but totally Hollywood.

      Delete
  9. Jane Eyre has been filmed numerous times, most recently in 2011.

    An important element of the book is that Rochester is described as ugly, and Jane as plain, homely, unattractive.

    That is hard to square with the casting of Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, both quite physically attractive.

    The physical plainness or unattractiveness is an important element of the book. Was the casting of two attractive people a betrayal of the book?

    The director of that film was a man. Was his casting decision sexist? Was it feminist?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting. That’s my third favorite movie in the world and I have to watch it at least three times a year.

      Delete
  10. “Today, we get to read debates about whether Jo does or doesn't marry Bhaer in the new adaptation. This is presented as feminism—and it could be that it actually is, depending on how you score it.”

    Except that Somerby has already weighed in on this. On Monday, he said

    “Gerwig is hardly alone in her desire for change. In his Broadway adaptation, Sorkin improved To Kill A Mockingbird in endless ways, “

    And
    “Some tribal changes are brought to old texts; “

    He condemned Gerwig’s changes as “tribal.” What else is that supposed to mean besides “feminist” changes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, going for an obvious young French hottie is feminist?

      Gimme a break. It's Hollywood silliness-- or, hypocrisy.

      Delete
  11. نوفر لكم الحلول التقنية وقطع الغيار الاصلية نساعدكم في اتمام الصيانة اللازمة لأجهزتكم المنزلية في الحدود الآمنة التي تحافظ على الكفاءة المعتادة وايضا متوسط العمر الافتراضي نقدم لكم خدمة مريحة تجمع بين الجودة والسرعة والاسعار المحددة وضمان مابعد الاصلاح ونجنبكم التجارب السيئة التي تهدر الوقت والمال
    صيانة كريازى بالاسكندرية
    صيانة توشيبا بالاسكندرية
    صيانة وايت ويل بالاسكندرية
    صيانة وستنجهاوس بالاسكندرية
    صيانة وايت وستنجهاوس بالاسكندرية
    صيانة شارب بالاسكندرية

    ReplyDelete
  12. I want to use this medium to testify of how i got back my ex husband after divorce, i and my husband have been married for 8 years with 2 kids, we have been a happy family. Last year his behavior towards me and the kids changed, i suspected he was meeting another woman outside out marriage, any time i confronted him, he threatened to divorce me, i did all i could to make hings right but all to no avail until i saw a post on a "love and relationship forum" about a spell caster who helps people to cast spell on marriage and relationship issues, when i contacted this spell caster via email, he helped me cast a re-union spell and my husband changed and came apologizing to me and the kids. Contact this great spell caster for your relationship or marriage issues via this email: chiefdrlucky@gmail.com or Whats App him on +2348132777335 Website : http://chiefdrluckysolutionhome.website2.me/ Good luck  

    ReplyDelete
  13. MY STORY HERE IS REAL AND GENUINE. My name is Adams Vienna and i am here to testify about Great Mother who brought back my man to me when he broke up with me because of another woman who he met at his place of work. Great Mother is a very powerful, real and unique woman with special powers. I tried to get help from many places and sources to bring back my man but nothing worked but when i contacted Great Mother, she made me smile again by bringing my man back to me with her special powers.. If you are experiencing any problems in your marriage, relationship, and you have any similar problem to this, contact this Great Woman now she will help you. Here is her website: Ourgreatmother1.com   and here is her email address: Greatmotherofsolutiontemple1@yahoo.com   and you can also contact her now on her own Whatsapp number: +17025514367 You can either contact her on her website, email or her whatsapp number. Thank you Great Mother.  

    ReplyDelete
  14. I was diagnosed of herpes virus, I have tried all possible means to get cure but all my effort proved abortive, until a friend of mine introduced me to a herbal doctor called Chief Dr Lucky, who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including herpes virus (Herpes), when i contacted this herbal doctor via his email, he sent me herpes virus herbal medicine via courier service, when i received the herbal medicine he gave me step by step instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed i was totally cured from the virus within 3 weeks of usage. Contact this great herbal doctor today to get your cure. 
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Whats App : +2348132777335
       

    ReplyDelete
  15. MY STORY HERE IS REAL AND GENUINE. My name is Adams Vienna and i am here to testify about Great Mother who brought back my man to me when he broke up with me because of another woman who he met at his place of work. Great Mother is a very powerful, real and unique woman with special powers. I tried to get help from many places and sources to bring back my man but nothing worked but when i contacted Great Mother, she made me smile again by bringing my man back to me with her special powers.. If you are experiencing any problems in your marriage, relationship, and you have any similar problem to this, contact this Great Woman now she will help you. Here is her website: Ourgreatmother1.com   and here is her email address: Greatmotherofsolutiontemple1@yahoo.com   and you can also contact her now on her own Whatsapp number: +17025514367 You can either contact her on her website, email or her whatsapp number. Thank you Great Mother.  

    ReplyDelete
  16. 5 years ago I had warts, I was treated with some liquid applied to the warts they continued to grow and spread... The next 2 doctors did laser surgery to remove them. 1 year after the surgery, they grew back close to where the 1st ones were' so I was finally told it was hpv. I have had it for very long time, I contract it from my cheated boyfriend and I found out he was also infected and I end up the relationship between us. the warts was so embarrasses because it started spreading all over I have be dealing with this things for very long time the last treatment I take was About 2 years ago I applied natural treatment from Dr onokun herbal cure, a week after applying the treatment all the warts was gone. it's now 2 years and some months I don't have single wart or any symptoms of hpv. wow"" it's great, Dr onokun has finally cured me. Anyone living with hpv contact Dr onokun for natural treatment.
    His email address: dronokunherbalcure@gm‎ail.com  

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello everybody, thanks to Dr LOSA the spell caster i am from USA, i don't just Know the reason why some people is finding it difficult to believe that there is a cure for HIV, my son have been suffering from HIV since last three years but today i am happy that he is cure from it with the herbal medicine of Dr DR LOSA the great healer,i was browsing the INTERNET searching for help when i came across a testimony shared by someone on how Dr LOSA cure his herpes i was so much in need of getting his treatment but after all Dr LOSA brought a smile to my son face with his herbal medicine. i am so much happy today that we have someone like this great healer out there, so my people out there kindly contact this great healer on his email address: (dr.losaherbalhome@gmail .com) please sir keep your good work cause there are people out there who is in need of your healing medicine.once more email him now: (dr.losaherbalhome@gmail.com) you can call him OR WHATSSAPP HIM +2349056464736
    DOCTOR LOSA CAN AS WELL CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:-
    1. HIV/AIDS
    2. HERPES
    3. CANCER
    4. ALS
    5. Hepatitis
    6 Diabetes
    7 LOVE SPELL
    8 IF YOU NEED YOUR EX LOVER BACK TO LOVE YOU AGAIN.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Am Lizzy Dixon from Canada, I want to quickly tell the world that there is a real online spell caster that is powerful and genuine, His name is Chief He helped me recently to reunite my relationship with my husband who left me, When i contacted Chief he cast a love spell for me, and my husband who said he doesn't have anything to do with me again called me and started begging me to come back. he is back now with so much love and care. today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the powers to restore broken relationship back. because i am now happy with my husband. To anyone who is reading this article and needs any help, Chief can also offer any type of help like, Curing of all types of Diseases, Court Cases, Pregnancy Spell, Spiritual protection and lot's more. You can contact him Via his email chiefdrlucky@gmail.com call or add him on whats-app with his phone number +2348132777335 Website: http://chiefdrluckysolutionhome.website2.me/   

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great Mother is Real... I am Aisha Kun and i want to testify about Great Mother how she cured me of hiv aids. I was diagnosed of this disease some time ago and i was worried. when i was searching the internet looking for a cure, i came across some testimonies of Great Mother how she has helped a lot of people and i decided to contact her on her info and explained to her. She laughed and told me that she will help me and i was surprised. She sent me the cure and it was a spiritual holy oil and water which is more than a medicine. She directed me on how to take it and i did. I took the cure for 3 weeks and i went to the doctor for check up and to my greatest surprise the disease was no longer in my system. I am so glad and i want to thank Great Mother for helping me. Contact her now on her website ourgreatmother1.com   and her email is Greatmotherofsolutiontemple1@yahoo.com  you can also reach her on her whatsapp number  +17025514367. If you have any disease, she can help you. Contact her now

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good day to all viewer online am so happy sharing this great testimony on how i was checking for solution in the internet then miraculously i came Across Dr.LOSA the powerful herbalist that Cure Numerous individuals Herpes Simplex Virus,so I contacted him base on the testimonies I?m seeing about him on the internet, I was cured too by him, kindly contact him actoday through his email he can help you email ; dr.losaherbalhome@gmail.com and so he can cure types of diseases like,HEPATITIS B,DIABETICS,CANCER,HPV,LOW SPERM CAM HIV/STDS FIBROSIS LOST OF WEIGHT .. all thank to you Dr LOSA for your kindly help in my life his Mobile number +2349056464736

    He cure listed diseases
    CANCER
    HEPATITIS A AND B
    DIABETIC.
    HERPES

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is the website I read about Prophet Abulele and contacted him to help me get my ex boyfriend back to marry me during the month of june this year and I have come back here to post about him. Prophet Abulele will help you solve your problem no matter what you are going through. My name is PATRICIA from Canada. Posting about a spell caster is very strange to me because I never believed i will be able to say that I was helped by a spell caster in bringing my ex boyfriend back to me after 5 years of no contact. I read about Prophet Abulele from other websites and contacted him to help me and in less than 48 hours my ex boyfriend called me and I was happy that he wants to get back to me. We met on Friday and he proposed to me,... It was the most beautiful ring. Please everyone out here, Contact Prophet Abulele to solve your problem for you and make you happy with your relationship that is hurting you. Love is the best feeling ever experienced. Email Prophet Abulele at prophetabulelehealingtemple@gmail.com or directly on whats App him +2349022406159.

    ReplyDelete
  22. PERFECT LOTTERY SPELL THAT WORK FAST WITHIN 11 HOURS WITH DR.NANA LOTTERY SPELL POWERS.
    Straight away after Dr.NANA cast the Lottery spell for me, I felt enveloped by the control of the lotto spell. This spell changes my life into riches. I am now out of debts and experiencing the most amazing good luck with lotto after I won a huge amount of money. I have more luck now than I ever had in my life. i won 1.900.000 Million Pounds. Your Lotto spell made wonders, I can't believe it. Thank you so much, sir for dedicating your time to cast the Lotto spell for me.”I am eternally grateful for the lotto spell Dr.NANA did for me. You can email him for you own lottery numbers
    .email him on,Nanakwakuspiritualist@gmail.com. Call or WhatsApp Number +2349029905501 your kindness will never be forgotten.
    Webpage https://lotteryspellsthatworkfast.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete