To do what? Because outside of Jo's sipirt I dont really see much to aspire to in this tsory? The overall message seems to be that as a good Christian one should sacrifice being an artist, being in love with who you want and any hope of independence It's not because I'm from the modern era that I dislike this book. Or that I'm an adult reading it. If you look at other works being done in the same time period you will see that there were stories with less moralizing being done--including by Miss Alcott herself.
I was just really disappointed View all 66 comments. View all 12 comments. Mar 27, Corrie rated it it was amazing. The book begins: "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents, grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.
It's so dreadful to be poor! I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all, added little Amy, with an injured sniff. We've got Father and Mother, and each other, said Beth contentedly from her corner. Louisa herself was fiercely independent and didn't marry. Of course, Jo, her doppelganger and the heroine of the book, did marry. I think the struggle for girls and women to be themselves while following convention is an experience that resonates today. I also think that, ironically, when people today want to return to the simple life, they all forget that there was no simple life.
Although youngest sister Amy carries her books to school, writes with an inkwell and fights over pickled limes, her father is fighting a real war fought for ideology and national unity. Martha Stewart has us searching for the "good things" and harkening back to garden bounties but nineteenth century girls and women were nearly bound to the home. Young boys and girls might find the domesticity in the book offputting but it was necessary for people to have domestic skills or they could not survive. The working poor in the s, like the working poor today, could not afford maids. Louisa May Alcott's family occasionally made money from making and mending clothing just to get by.
I think there was just as much screaming as crying going on in the Alcott household, but Louisa tones things down for the March family. The March family and the sisters made me yearn for my own sisters which never materialized. I also realized that wanting to draw, paint, play music, perform plays and write were interests that I shared with people of another time period.
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The book itself was written after the Civil War and has a purposeful nostalgic tone. Jo scribbles in the attic and relishes the time she has to write but she is expected to work as a caretaker for her elderly aunt. None of these girls are independently wealthy and the poverty that Alcott writes about in the book mirrors the poverty of her own life but she softens the reality for her fiction. Alcott's father Amos Bronson Alcott was not a soldier, yet he was often away from home.
He was a dynamic lecturer and a revolutionary educator who was disillusioned by public reaction to some of his innovations and was often jobless. While a good portion of white northerners were against slavery and wanted more rights for black Americans, they did not go as far as the Alcotts did in their support. I wish that she had written more about their anti-slavery positions. It's also not widely known that Bronson Alcott was shunned for educating black students. Reading Little Women in fourth grade caused me to work as a historical interpreter at the Orchard House for six years many years later.
I studied transcendentalism and learned about the contributions of Elizabeth Peabody and other great female intellectuals of the nineteenth century. I was forever changed after reading the book and I've reread it too many times to count. Louisa was a master marketer akin to J. She also had a strong survival instinct like Rowling. She desperately needed to make money and writing was her one marketable skill. Notably, she was able to write the book under her own name and not use a gender neutral pseudonym.
The book is written for a younger audience and older readers reading it for the first time might not feel a connection with the book because all Victorian children's books were infused with a heavy dose of morality. Girls especially have always been told to endure hardships while remaining happy. My grandmother Ethel, who grew up in the s, told me her mother said to her: "It's easy to be happy when life rolls along like a song. But it's the girl who's worthwhile who will smile when everything goes wrong.
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I have owned this book forever! I have the movie and have always loved it. Thanks to several group challenges on here, I have finally gotten to this little gem. Happy Reading! Alcott wrote the books over several months at the request of her publisher. Following the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—the novel details their passage from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.
Never liked this one. I read Alcott back around the time I was first reading the Brontes and Dickens, and her books always struck me as incredibly dull in comparison. I was probably about 12, though, so I suppose I should try it again someday. View all 21 comments. Rachel I just read it for book club, and I can tell you that it is as dull as you remember it. Save yourself some valuable reading time and don't try to re-r I just read it for book club, and I can tell you that it is as dull as you remember it.
Save yourself some valuable reading time and don't try to re-read it again. I thought I had read it previously, but actually think I was remembering the movie version. That was delightful!
The book Ally couldn't agree more!! Nov 13, AM. Jun 29, Kylie D rated it really liked it Shelves: seasonal-challenges , historical-fiction. A timeless classic that I enjoyed just as much now as I did when I first read it at school. View all 10 comments. In many ways, because of this remarkably self-assured heroine, Little Women seemed to me much ahead of its time. Sisters Meg, Beth and Amy all have their moments to shine; while Mr.
March are more broad-minded than what I imagine their contemporaries to have been. Had I been required to plant myself down in the midst of an American family during that era, I would have been satisfied to settle in with the Marches. Meg yearns for the fine things she once had before poverty knocked the Marches down a few notches; yet she retains a mother-like quality that warmed me to her. Beth is quiet, good-natured and pious; all her sisters look to her as the epitome of virtue.
The artistic little Amy is spoiled and vain and dreams of someday becoming a moneyed gentlewoman. And then there is Jo who adores books and dreams of someday becoming a writer. Described as a bit of a tomboy, which I suppose a girl with her pluck would have been commonly labeled back in the day, Jo is at the center of the novel. Given that Little Women is somewhat autobiographical in nature, it is fascinating to read of this spirited young woman.
She wanted the freedom to express herself; she would often have difficulty suppressing the pent-up rage that she felt deep inside; and she wanted to do what made her happiest.
A literary spinster, with a pen for a spouse, a family of stories for children, and twenty years hence a morsel of fame, perhaps…" She shared her hopes with Laurie, the boy next door and her greatest pal besides her dear sisters. They shared a love of literature and the outdoors and confided in one another their greatest dreams. With the exception of ever-sweet Beth, I would say that all of the girls exhibited growth throughout the book, and it was fun to spend some time with them. I am super-excited to see the upcoming screen version of this to be released on Christmas Day!
View all 60 comments. My copy of this is probably 55 years old -- I've probably read it at least twenty-five times. One of my all-time favorite books. One of my favorite authors ever. Yes, it is old-fashioned -- it was old-fashioned fifty-five years ago. But that is the point pretty much in my opinion. This is a story of times past, of a family which functioned in a particular way in a particular time. This is also a story of what one person in a family might have wished were so all of the time in the family but wasn My copy of this is probably 55 years old -- I've probably read it at least twenty-five times.
This is also a story of what one person in a family might have wished were so all of the time in the family but wasn't. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I believe I bought this book second hand which surprises me as I thought I'd splurged and bought it the minute it was out -- perhaps in a fit of being good, I'd refrained and later bought this used copy to appease my Little Woman penchant retroactively.
Only pages in and I'm as thoroughly hooked as always. Something peaceful about this story, speaks to me in a very profound manner. A bit of treacle is apparent but the story's truths are also as apparent as ever. I didn't love it as much as I did the first time I read it, but I am glad I got to revisit the story. Also, this time I Amy was my favorite character?
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We've done a lot of discussion which has really opened my mind to new things in the book and made me love it even more. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyon update: I reread this as it was the Austentatious book for June and July!