A Critic's Meta-Review: 4/5
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). Published by planksip
A Critic's Meta-Review: 4/5
Little Women serves as the successful fusion between Romantic children’s fiction and sentimentalism. Offering one of the first depictions of the “All-American Girl”, Alcott displays her various attributes in the differing March sisters. The book has been frequently adapted for both stage and screen with the most recent version premiering in 2019. Alcott provides readers with a model for non-traditional womanhood and literature for self-authorization.
For over 150 years, Little Women has provided young girls with characters that they can relate to and follow by assimilating aspects of the story into their own lives. By showing the lives of regular, American, middle-class girls, Little Women has legitimized the dreams and aspirations of many ambitious young women. While Alcott never questions the value of domesticity, she challenges the social constructs that alienated women simply because they were not married. The novel’s timeless resonance makes it a relevant, enjoyable, and important piece of American culture.
Interested in re-visiting Little Women or reading it for the first time? The novel is available for FREE download on planksip.
Published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869 and written over the course of several months, Little Women is one of the most recognized works of Louisa May Alcott and an iconic piece of American literature. Many scholars classify the book as a semi-autobiographical novel based on the lives of the author and her three sisters. Little Women was an immediate and commercial success and enjoyed a fanbase that demanded to know more about the fate of the sisters. Alcott eventually wrote and published two sequels, Little Men (1871) and Jo’s Boys (1886). Little Women addresses themes of love, work, and domesticity. The themes are interdependent of each other and essential to the development and achievements of each sister’s identity.
The story follows the lives of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, and their passage from childhood into womanhood. The four sisters and their mother live in Massachusetts in genteel poverty. Their father, having lost all of his money, is acting as a pastor in the American Civil War, and is far from home. Meg and Jo, the eldest two sisters, work to support the family.
Meg is described as beautiful and traditional, Jo is a tomboy who writes, Beth is a peacemaker and pianist, and Amy is an artist who longs for the elegance associated with fine society.
Little Women features a variety of instances where a change of heart becomes necessary for the female protagonists to evolve in the story.