After all, readers of Little Women tend to fall into two camps. First, there are people who read this novel and fall in love with it. For example, we know women who read this book first when they were girls and now read it over and over again, coming back to it every few years to savor the trials and triumphs of the March sisters.
Book Report Essay.pdf - Louisa May Alcott Little Women...
These are women who identify with Jo's ambition and with Meg's romantic nature, who love reading and appreciate all the literary references in the book. That's the book's fan base, and it grows all the time as new readers discover the story again.
If you're one of these readers, you can stop reading this section now and go check out our "Character Analysis" of Jo and then leave a comment to tell us what you think of it! If you're still with us, then you fall into the second camp of readers: people who do not fall in love with Little Women right away, who might not even find it interesting. After all, this is a novel without a villain, without any battles or even any serious fights.
Well, yeah, Jo gets mad at Amy and ignores her for a few days, but that's about it. All the major conflict is emotional, ethical, and psychological.
The 100 best novels: No 20 – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868-9)
Plus, the book considers the position of women in nineteenth-century America. Again, that's significant, but it also means that most of the action in the novel takes place in the private, domestic sphere. This is a cozy, home-y book, and that can make it feel like the stakes aren't as high.
What we're saying is, ladies and gentlemen, we understand if you aren't as excited about this novel as we are. But the good news is, we've got reasons why you should care about this book. Oh, sure, there are the reasons your English teacher could give you. One, this novel is incredibly influential, both on American literature and on the development of the young adult novel and children's book. Two, Alcott shows you how the abstract issues facing the Transcendental philosophers really play out in everyday life.
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Three, people today are still concerned with figuring out how to balance the way they appear to their friends with behaving in an ethical way, and this book is all about learning to sacrifice appearances for principles. But if that's not doing it for you, how about this: character!
As you're reading, we challenge you not to find people you know, or personality traits that you're familiar with, in the cast of characters. Are you really telling us you don't know someone like Amy — someone who worries more about the shape of her nose than whether she's a good person? Or someone like Aunt March, who likes to throw her weight around and tell other people what to do, but has become lonely and isolated as a result?
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Or someone like Jo, who has ambitions that seem to clash with her family duties? Aside from moral lessons, historical significance, and the sheer enjoyment of reading, Alcott's novel includes a well-drawn cast of characters that are still familiar to us.
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And if you keep reading, you just might find yourself among them — and if you're not careful, you'll find that all your own flaws are being exposed, and punished, and satirized. Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
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Quoted in Ann B. Catherine R. CrossRef Google Scholar. Reported in The Guardian , 7 January Ednah D. Ruth K.