Josephine "Jo" March
Jo March
2nd March sister

Birth and Death

Late 1840s - Unknown

Also Known As

  • Jo
  • Mrs. Bhaer
  • Troublemaker
  • My Son Jo
  • Josy

Hair Color

Reddish Brown





"Fatal Flaw"


Family Members

Parents and Siblings

Spouse and Children

Aunts and Uncles


Nieces and Nephews


Josephine "Jo" Bhaer (née March) was the second-eldest March sister. She is seen as the main character of Little Women



  • Some aspects of Josephine March are based off of Louisa May Alcott herself.
  • When Josephine March was young, she played a vital part in teaching her mother, Mrs. March, a lesson. Meg and Jo were sick, and Jo, in particular, was getting to be far too troublesome for her mother. "Marmee", as the girls affectionately called her, had before this shut her husband out of the nursery. Mr. March gently taught her that fathers should have a share in their children as well as mothers, and all was well.
  • She was a brave, determined, and an independent young lady.

Jo was a reckless, daring child. She often wished she 'had been a boy', and as consolation enjoyed whistling, using slang and ruffling up her clothes (which were a great trial to her, especially when she grew old enough to wear long skirts) - all symbols of masculinity in the period. Jo loved to read, and would spend hours doing so, reading books such as The Heir of Redclyffe, over which she ate apples and cried.

The attic was a favorite haunt of hers. The tin kitchen, which was inhabited by many manuscripts, books, and rats (who nibbled her pages and tasted her pencils), was also a desk where she could be found at when in a 'vortex'. Jo had a 'scribbling suit', which consisted of a large black pinafore to absorb ink stains, and a small black cap with a gay feather.


Jo was the second oldest daughter of the March Family. In the beginning of 'Little Women' the family is experiencing temporary financial difficulties during the American Civil War. The family's father is acting in the army as a pastor and the older sisters are forced to work to make some extra money to support the family. Jo has to assist her rich elderly great-aunt - Aunt March. When her father falls ill, Jo rather sells her hair, her 'only pride', than to beg her aunt for money for her mother's ticket to Washington, so she could go visit her husband.

The sisters made good friends with their neighbor, Laurie. Laurie sometimes called her "my fellow". While Laurie studies at the collage, Jo keeps working on her writing.

Later Life

During that time, he realizes that he has fallen in love with Jo. Sensing his feelings, Jo confides in her mother, telling her that she loves Laurie but as she would love a brother and that she could not love him romantically. Laurie proposes marriage to her and she turns him down.

Jo decides she needs a break, and spends six months with a friend of her mother in New York City, serving as governess for her two children. The family runs a boarding house. She takes German lessons with Professor Bhaer, who lives in the house They soon become good friends. For extra money, Jo writes stories without a moral, which disappoints him. They have an argument and when Jo learns that Beth’s health has seriously deteriorated, she leaves New York and devotes her time to the care of her dying sister.

Jo and Bhaer (1994 movie adaptation)

On her invitation, Professor Bhaer arrives at the Marches' and stays for two weeks. On his last day, he proposes to Jo. Aunt March dies, leaving Plumfield to Jo. She and Bhaer turn the house into a school for boys. and have two sons of their own.


Life at PlumfieldEdit

Of the four sisters in March, Jo was easily the most masculine: she thought for herself, took pride in shunning female manners and fashion, and was unlikely to succumb to the pressures placed on sex at that time. In fact, once she was always disappointed that she was not born a man, and hated the very idea of the inevitability of becoming a full woman. This can be interpreted as a subconscious desire on their part that allows the freedoms that men can not enjoy at that moment, as well as, losing their own identity, once they embrace their femininity. One notable trait of Jo's would be her determination: when she set her mind on something, it was very difficult to dissuade her from doing it - an example of which would be her dedication to her stories. Her "fatal flaw" was her temper, which could be exceptionally bad and volatile when provoked to her breaking point, but as her guidance under her mother's wise teachings as well her own life experiences progressed, Jo learned how to properly control it.

As she matured, Jo gradually learned the importance of accepting her own gender, and realized that becoming a full true woman did not mean losing her own unique identity. As her father pointed out after returning home, Jo was no longer the "son Jo" he once knew: she had ceased to practice masculine habits such as whistling or talking slang, and even dressed, spoke, moved, and cared for her family - especially Beth - in a way that made him satisfied of the strong, helpful, and tender-hearted woman she was growing to be.