In any serious discussion of Little Women, this matter is usually called into question. “How could Laurie marry Amy? Everyone KNOWS he was meant for Jo!” “No, Amy was more suited to him, and anyway, she did all right with that German guy!”
I am firmly pro-Amy on this. First of all, it’s generally accepted nowadays that lifelong friends don’t always make good marriage partners. Laurie and Jo would not have been compatible in the long run: their temperaments were too similar, and Jo was so determined to be bohemian, she would never have been content being Mrs. Richguy.
Second, I resent the implication that Jo “got stuck with” or “didn’t do too badly” with Friedrich. He was a sweetheart, and they were ideal for each other. I still can’t read the scene where he declares himself without tearing up.
And third, I think Amy just gets short shrift in general. I’m inclined to identify with her because we’re both “youngests”, and I think a lot of readers’ scorn for her is just playa-hating. She’s the pretty one, and the artist, and gets to go to Europe, so she must be a nineteenth-century Heather, right? Wrong! She had no less depth than Jo, and her subtle, ladylike approach is not to be taken lightly. Like the scene in Europe, after Jo has turned Laurie down, where she draws two sketches of him. “This is as you were—” drawing of him reining in a wild horse, alive with youth and vigor “And this is as you are—” drawing of him, quite simply, brooding.
That’s my opinion, anyway. So what d’y’all think?