Little Women (or in full, Little Women, or Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Louisa May Alcott that was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. In the novel, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are raised in genteel poverty by their mother, Marmee, while their father serves as an army chaplain in the American Civil War. They befriend Theodore Lawrence (nicknamed "Laurie"), the lonely grandson of a rich old man next door. We don't want to be spoilers so we won't go into character and plot development—but Laurie admires Jo, the headstrong, willful, tomboyish young woman who the neighborhood ladies consider to be a "haughty, uninteresting creature," and who is the vital force of the family as well as the emotional center around which much of the story revolves.
What follows are some "adjective" quotations describing Jo, which only begin to paint a picture of her character.
Then he stayed away for three whole days, and made no sign, a proceeding which caused everybody to look sober, and Jo to become pensive, at first, and then—alas for romance—very cross.
Laurie longed to say something tender and comfortable, but no fitting words came to him, so he stood silent, gently stroking her bent head as her mother used to do. It was the best thing he could have done, far more soothing than the most eloquent words, for Jo felt the unspoken sympathy, and in the silence learned the sweet solace which affection administers to sorrow. Soon she dried the tears which had relieved her, and looked up with a grateful face. "Thank you, Teddy, I'm better now. I don't feel so forlorn, and will try to bear it if it comes."
Jo groaned and leaned both elbows on the table in a despondent attitude, but Amy spatted away energetically, and Beth, who sat at the other window, said, smiling, "Two pleasant things are going to happen right away. Marmee is coming down the street, and Laurie is tramping through the garden as if he had something nice to tell."
"Which lady here do you think prettiest?" said Sallie. "Margaret." "Which do you like best?" from Fred. "Jo, of course." "What silly questions you ask!" And Jo gave a disdainful shrug as the rest laughed at Laurie's matter-of-fact tone. "Try again. Truth isn't a bad game," said Fred. "It's a very good one for you," retorted Jo in a low voice. Her turn came next.
"It's very bad poetry, but I felt it when I wrote it, one day when I was very lonely, and had a good cry on a rag bag. I never thought it would go where it could tell tales," said Jo, tearing up the verses the Professor had treasured so long.
You are the gull, Jo, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.
"I'll try and be what he loves to call me, 'a little woman' and not be rough and wild, but do my duty here instead of wanting to be somewhere else," said Jo, thinking that keeping her temper at home was a much harder task than facing a rebel or two down South.