Why Do I Dislike Amy March but Admire Anne Shirley?

There are many characters who on the surface look the same, they are elegant, have high standards, popular, live a charmed life in many ways, but they get such different reactions from me. For example, Anne Shirley, who I like and would like to be more like, and Amy March who I resent.

The Amy characters seem to have everything handed to them (and are very spoiled) without, in my opinion being very interesting while I think Anne type characters earn their way far more often of the time.

Also, I feel like Amy was a “told” character rather than a “shown” character. And well, I don’t think she ever learned to laugh at herself. Anne did learn to laugh at herself. Anne had dignity and could be offended by presumption, but I always sided with Anne while I always thought Amy a spoiled snot.

However, I should note, that I feel that Anne turns into more of an Amy type in the later books when the focus is on her children, she’s not Anne Shirley any more who is hard working and earns her way, I feel like the writing portrays her more as a haughty lady of leisure, who sits above it all and offers judgement. Also, I don’t like Rilla very much at first, Rilla is very much an Amy March type character.

14 comments

  1. Oh, this is such an interesting post. I’m the same. I’ve never liked Amy, but I adore Anne (and characters like her, such as Jane Penderwick). Maybe it has to do with how they were written? Anne is the heroine of her story and is written in a more positive way than Amy.

    1. I feel like Amy is written less positively, I don’t think Alcott meant to do that though, she was writing about her sister, and I think they were all close.

  2. Well, anyone who burns books gets an instant dislike from me. 😀
    I guess I’m a weird one who never really connected with Anne Shirley. However, I agree she’s so much more likeable than Amy!

    1. Yeah, its the intellectual property destruction, the hours and hours of labor Jo put into it, it makes my blood boil every time. 12 is far too old an age for that to be excusable.

    1. Rilla grows in character throughout the book, I start out hating her every time, then she grows into a more sympathetic character. After all, if she has Walter’s approval, she can’t be bad.

    1. I loved them for years, but its always different as an adult to try something. Sometimes I feel like its a treat, a discovery, other times it feels like I missed out, that I missed the moment, that you need childhood to love somethings first.

  3. I do think that how spoiled Amy is makes everyone dislike her. I tend to like the unlikable characters, but I didn’t like her until the I saw the new Little Women, which gave her more of a character arc in a way,
    Anne will always be better though.

  4. I had the same reaction to Anne when she was older. She didn’t feel like the same person to me.

    I wonder what Anne and Amy would have thought of each other?

    1. If she had faded into the background as her kids came to the forefront that would have been fine, I love the kids stories, but it felt like she changed into the kind of person she would have strongly dislike although I highly doubt that was in any way intentional.

      Now, that is an interesting thought. I of course want to think they wouldn’t get along as I don’t like Amy. I’m not sure Anne would get along with the Marchs at all.

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