When I was doing this research I actually came appalled when I realized that the scene in Little Women where Jo is having a mental breakdown because of the stories that she has to write to the weekly volcano, which is never in the films. When Louisa was in her early twenties she wrote into a New York newspaper called Frank Lesley´s weekly illustrated newspaper. Weekly Volcano is a caricature of that newspaper. We tend to have quite a one-dimensional way of thinking about what it comes to historical people because historical people had morals. Just like we have morals. Louisa was writing for money and writing for money it came with mental health problems. She had to look up things that made her feel uncomfortable. They had stories of men abusing women and some of the stories were racist and sexist. These things contradicted Louisa and her own morals. Which is why she quit. There is a literal quote in her journals where she writes about these moral struggles and her friend Emerson says hey you don´t need to write anything you don´t want to write and just like Jo in the book Louisa feels relieved when she stops. You can find this journal online. You can read it for free. All these scriptwriters have had access to read it for over a decade. Friedrich was helping Jo to find her own path as a writer.

Check out the full video essay ”Love and Sex in Little Women” https://youtu.be/mzuK9xH54KQ