Little WomenPosted: 2012/05/16
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. New York: Scholastic, 1987.
I think it goes without saying that Little Women is a classic. Who doesn’t know the story of Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth? Okay, so female readers of all ages probably know it better than men but either way there is no denying it’s a classic! Plus, they made a movie out of it!
So. To repeat the obvious: This is the story of the March women – Mrs. March and her four daughters. Too old to be drafted into service, Mr. March enlists to be a chaplain in the civil war. While he is away Mrs. March and her girls keep a modest house house in Concord, Massachusetts. The story centers around the four daughters and their four very different personalities. Alcott was ahead of her time when she created the character of Josephine (“Jo”). Jo is an ambitious tomboy who cuts her hair and wants to be a unmarried writer. She is referred to as male by herself (saying she is the man of the house while Father is away) and by her father (who calls her “son”). It’s an interesting dynamic to the plot. The rest of the March women are as Victorian as can be. I try to refrain from seeing them as prissy. They are all very pretty and wishy-washy and have talent. As a aside, the storytelling reminded me of Anne of Green Gables.
Disclaimer: Alcott intended Little Women to the first of a two volume set (with Good Wives being the second). Because Good Wives is not on my reading list I didn’t read it with Little Women.
Author Fact: Louisa May Alcott is buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA. I wonder if I’ll have time to look her up while I am there in another week?
BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called “Three-Hanky Reads” (p 236). Of course Pearl is referring to the part when Beth dies.