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Feminism and society in little women essay

She never expected it to be such a success.

Until today the story about Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy has never been out of print and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. They are accompanied by their loving mother who introduce them into society by giving helpful advice.

In how far does this process and the novel at all reflect real life and cultural values of Victorian age? What picture of family life, society and the position of women within it did Alcott develop? Education plays a very important role in solving the question because it sets the foundation of every individual life and might define the development of a whole society. In the absence of her husband, who works as a clergyman in the Civil War, she has the full responsibility for the family.

The Image of Society and Women in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women"

She respects every single girl and knows their characters including the faults, e. Her relationship with the children is not superficial but very close and sympathetic. Even in the second part of the novel when they are marrying, Mrs. The mother-daughters-relationship sometimes even seems to be symbiotic and too close and sentimental.

It is the aim of Mrs. March to teach their girls to be modest, satisfied and caring for each other. She herself is social engaged and feels responsible for her fellow creatures. Of course, she expects the same of her daughters. But besides little Beth, who really seems like an angel, innocent and too good to be true, every girl has her typical flaw and acts more or less sinful during the novel.

Their mother is always there when they are regretting their deeds. Instead of preaching Mrs. March tells their daughters how to act better and gives practical tips e. Her education is oriented to reality and adapted to real-life situations. Sometimes she even lets the children try out their wishes although she knows the negative result before: This method is very modern; the same goes for Mrs.

She clearly prefers nonviolence in education, neither at home nor in school: Not always typical for her time, Mrs. This opinion is unusual because for most mothers, especially for poor ones, it was the one and only aim to see their daughters married so that they could take care of themselves. One the one hand the girls are made aware of their flaws but on the other hand their mother is not sparing with praise when they act in a good, social way and try to improve their manners, e.

In fact, Alcott used her own mother — Abigail May — as an example for Mrs. Louisa had a very close relationship with her.

  1. Not always typical for her time, Mrs.
  2. Like Alcott herself, who closely identified with her protagonist, Jo openly laments being born a girl, with all of the limits and restrictions that entails. Even in the second part of the novel when they are marrying, Mrs.
  3. And for much of the novel, it seems inevitable that Jo and Laurie proclaim their love for each other and marry. What picture of family life, society and the position of women within it did Alcott develop?
  4. Their mother is always there when they are regretting their deeds.
  5. Like Jo herself, the novel is not radical but rebellious, intending not to change the world as we know it but to carve out a space for strong, independent women within the already-established patriarchal structures. She respects every single girl and knows their characters including the faults, e.

This could explain why Alcott gave Mrs. March such an important and powerful status in the novel and just send her husband away to the war in the first part, giving him a comparable lower role. For 19th century New England this literary model of a family was not common since the husband and father was regarded as the head of the family and normally had a lot of influence.

Temple UP, 1984 x. Signet Classic, 2004 8. All following quotations of Little Women refer to this text.