Jo is contrasted with each of her sisters one by one, and her contrast with Meg is especially strong. Meg and Jo are the two older sisters and they're only a year apart in age, but their personalities are radically different. Meg is proper and ladylike, yearns after wealth and beautiful clothes, and has a sweet, romantic nature. By contrast, Jo is awkward and tomboyish, doesn't care about money or clothes at all, and gets herself into all kinds of trouble because she's so blunt. But the two senior March girls do have something in common: each of them "mothers" one of her younger sisters.
Beth and Jo have a special bond, despite their many differences. Shy, quiet Beth admires Jo's boldness and talent, and Jo loves Beth for her affectionate, giving personality. Beth's tendency to blend into the woodwork allows Jo to stand out even more.
Amy and Jo are the most explosive pairing of the March sisters. When they're young, they tend to quarrel; Jo is irritated by Amy's affectations, and Amy feels insulted and neglected because Jo is condescending and leaves her littlest sister out of things. After Amy burns Jo's manuscript in revenge for being left behind one night, it seems like they will be estranged forever. However, a dangerous accident reminds Jo to set aside her anger and simply love her sister, even if they are very different. Later on, when they are adults, the contrast between them will be just as sharp; Amy loves the man Jo never could.