memoirs of a dutiful daughter

I identified myself passionately with Jo, the intellectual. Brusque and bony, Jo clambered up into trees when she wanted to read; she was much more tomboyish and daring than I was, but I shared her horror of sewing and housekeeping and her love of books. She wrote: in order to imitate her more completely, I composed two or three short stories ... But the thing that delighted me most of all was the marked partiality which Louisa Alcott manifested for Jo. As I have said, I detested the sort of grown-up condescension which lumped all children under the same heading. The defects and qualities which authors gave their young heroines usually seemed to be inconsequential accidents; when they grew up they would all be as good as gold: moreover it was only their personal morality that distinguished one from another, never their intelligence; it was almost as if from this point of view their age had made them all equal. But in Little Women Jo was superior to her sisters, who were either more virtuous or more beautiful than she, because of her passion for knowledge and the vigour of her thinking; her superiority was as outstanding as that of certain adults and guaranteed that she would have an unusual life: she was marked by fate. I, too, felt I was entitled to consider my taste in reading and my scholastic successes as tokens of a personal superiority which would be borne out by the future. I became in my own eyes a character out of a novel.
Simone de Beauvoir, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter