Little Women and Feminism
In writing Little Women, how does Louisa May Alcott bring out her underlying theme of feminism?
Abstract: (max. 300 words) This extended essay aims to uncover Louisa Alcott’s hidden and reoccurring theme of feminism that she conveys through her writing of Little Women. The scope of investigation covers the main characters and follows the plot line of the story of Alcott’s popular novel, which has touched many women’s lives, has raised numerous key questions about race, class, sexuality, age, material culture, intellectual history, pedagogy, gender and relationship between feminist thinking and Little Women. This essay will further explain the main feminist themes that have been discovered in reading her novel which are the danger of gender stereotyping, women’s struggle between familial duty and personal growth, the different uses of language, selling of hair, and the symbolic meaning behind the umbrellas.
Summary of Little Women: Little Women opens on the lives of the four March sisters living with their mother in New England. While their father is away serving as a chaplain in the Civil War, the sisters, along with their mother’s help, struggle to support themselves and keep their household running despite having recently lost their fortune. The two youngest girls, Amy and Beth, are entering adolescence, whereas the two older girls, Jo and Meg, are teenagers. The novel follows the four sisters through fifteen years of their lives, each