have a stable full of Arabian steeds, rooms piled with books, and
I’d write out of a magic inkstand, so that my works should be as
famous as Laurie’s music. I want to do something splendid before
I go into my castle—something heroic, or wonderful—that won’t be
forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch
for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall
write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is
my favorite dream.
Jo speaks these words in Chapter 13 when
the March girls and Laurie are discussing their dreams. In contrast
to the typical dreams of her sisters, Jo’s dream is startlingly
big and confidently expressed. The horses Jo wants, and with which
she is constantly compared, represent the wild freedom for which
she yearns. Significantly, Jo does not mention a husband or children
in her dream, but says she wants books and ink. This powerful statement
reaches well beyond the confines of a woman’s small living room
and demands lasting fame and independence in a man’s world. Jo’s
sentences are very direct and begin commandingly with the word “I.”
Jo also mentions the desire to have her work equal Laurie’s.
The pursuit of an art is represented as an idyllic field in which
men’s and women’s work are considered equal. Also, Jo aligns going
into a castle—getting married and having a house—with dying, for
she wants to do something great before either event happens to her.